Hawkins schools maintenance supervisor indicted on official misconduct charges

Jeff Bobo • Aug 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County school system maintenance supervisor Ralph Hurd was arrested Thursday morning as a result of being named Monday in sealed Hawkins County grand jury indictments stemming from an investigation into the theft of school property last year.

Hurd, 68, 229 Holliston Mills Road, Church Hill, was indicted on two counts of official misconduct and was released from the Hawkins County Jail on $10,000 bond Thursday shortly after his arrest. He is scheduled for arraignment Oct. 3 in Hawkins County Circuit Court.

In late May, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began looking into allegations that a wide variety of items had gone missing from the Hawkins County school system’s maintenance department building when it was moved from Rogersville to Surgoinsville in February 2007.

That’s when the old maintenance shop on the campus of Rogersville Middle School was converted into an alternative school and the shop was moved to a new facility.

Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell told the Times-News in June that tools, equipment and scrap metal had been confirmed as stolen, and some of it had been recovered.

Bell estimated the value of the property in the “tens of thousands of dollars.”

“Some of the materials didn’t make the move,” Bell said in June. “Just all kinds of stuff — saws, drills, trailers, presses, planers, big equipment, scrap metal, power washers — you name it. Three tractor-trailers full of scrap metal, not including the tools and equipment. Anything that wasn’t tied down, apparently.”

Hurd has been employed with the Hawkins County school system for 14 years and has been maintenance supervisor for four years.

Director of Schools Charlotte Britton said Thursday that Hurd had been off from work recently on medical leave.

With his arrest Thursday, Hurd was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the resolution of his charges, Britton said.

“We’re cooperating with investigators to the best of our ability, but obviously with the investigation ongoing I can’t comment on this situation at this time,” said Britton.

The thefts were initially reported to authorities by “concerned citizens,” according to Bell.

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