ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County District 1 Constable William Davis Creasy received a grand jury sealed indictment warrant on Thursday charging him with keeping methamphetamine that he seized during traffic stops.
Attorney General Dan Armstrong told the Times News that Creasy used the meth to train drug-sniffing dogs.
Armstrong noted, however, that Creasy isn’t certified to train narcotics-detecting dogs, nor is he licensed by the state to possess narcotics for that purpose.
Creasy, 67, 3909 Rocky Hill Lane, Kingsport, was named in a sealed indictment Monday on one count of official misconduct, which is a Class E felony punishable by 1-2 years if convicted.
He was also indicted on misdemeanor charges of casual exchange of meth, possession of a controlled substance (meth) without a license and simple possession of Gabapentin.
Armstrong told the Times News on Thursday that the official misconduct charge stems from allegations that Creasy took meth from people during traffic stops he conducted under his authority as a constable.
Creasy would then keep the narcotics in exchange for not taking the perpetrator to jail, Armstrong said.
“Those people don’t tend to report,” Armstrong said. “They’re probably just thankful they weren’t arrested.”
These allegations came to light after Creasy provided meth to a Mount Carmel Police Department officer for the purpose of training a narcotics-detecting dog.
The MCPD officer then reported this to his superiors and turned over approximately a half-gram of meth, at which time Armstrong was notified and involved the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
On May 12, the TBI used a warrant to search Creasy’s residence and, according to the indictments, seized an unspecified amount of meth, as well as two capsules of Gabapentin.
“It was enough (meth) that someone out there could have been charged with a Class B felony,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said people who train narcotics-detecting dogs are required to obtain a license to possess narcotics from the director of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy, which Creasy hadn’t done.
“He was taking the controlled substances and using them to train his dogs, and he had a website that advertised himself to be a dog trainer,” Armstrong said. “We believe he was improperly using his office to further his business. Plus there was a charge of delivery — we call it a casual exchange — to another officer.”
The Times News reached out to Creasy for comment Thursday and was awaiting a reply.
On May 14, Creasy posted on Facebook, “Be very careful who you call a friend or try to help. There are some snakes among us, even wearing ‘Blue’. Taking time out of your day to try to help someone, and then they rat you out over little stuff just to make a name for themselves. Warning. Beware of wannabe dog handlers.”
Creasy was booked into the Hawkins County Jail on Thursday morning and released on $3,000 bond. He is scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Criminal Court on June 11.
This is the second time Creasy has been named in a Hawkins County grand jury sealed indictment since being elected District 1 Constable in 2018.
District 1 serves the Hawkins County portion of Kingsport and the nearby unincorporated area, as well as Mount Carmel.
On Aug. 15, 2018, Creasy conducted a traffic stop with blue lights on a man who resides in his neighborhood before being sworn into office Sept. 1.
Creasy told the Times News the allegations were “made up and totally false.”
In February 2019, Creasy was indicted on charges of official misconduct and official oppression, both of which are Class E felonies.
As part of a plea agreement, Creasy was compelled to resign from his constable position in April 2019.
On Aug. 30, 2019, Creasy pleaded guilty to the reduced Class A misdemeanor charges of attempted official misconduct and attempted official oppression.
Aside from resigning immediately in April when the agreement was brokered, Creasy was granted a judicial diversion, which allowed him to have his record expunged upon completing 11 months and 29 days of probation.
After Creasy resigned, former Constable Ryan Christian was appointed to the position. The job was then placed on the ballot in the 2020 election for candidates who wanted the opportunity to complete Creasy’s four-year term, which expires Aug. 31, 2022.
No candidates filed for the position, and on Aug. 6, 2020, Creasy was elected by one vote over Christian, both running as write-in candidates, to serve out his original four-year term.
Armstrong then filed a motion in Criminal Court claiming Creasy violated the terms of his judicial diversion by seeking candidacy for an office in the same term he was forced to resign from it as part of his plea agreement.
Judge John Dugger denied Armstrong’s motion, ruling the plea agreement states only that Creasy resign “effective immediately,” but sets no condition on his future eligibility to hold that office.
Two Kingsport sisters spent a rainy Thursday afternoon on a scavenger hunt, winning some candy bars for their trouble and also checking out some books from the Kingsport Public Library’s youth services section.
Rose Crawford, 10 and a rising fifth-grader, and sister Lily, 14 and a rising 10th-grader, won the candy.
The Tails and Tales scavenger hunt is part of the 2021 Summer Reading Program of that same name at the Kingsport Public Library.
The two homeschooled students were among the first few students to participate in the event, which began Tuesday and runs through July 23, with the animal images in the scavenger hunt changed for a different hunt on July 1, library manager Chris Markley said.
Lily said she and Rose check books out of the library “all the time,” while Rose said she enjoys the books and going up and down the library’s “long stairs.”
KINGSPORT — The Model City will not kick in $31,250 toward the purchase of a skimmer boat for the Boone Lake Association.
The BLA came before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in March asking for the money to buy the vessel — a boat that would be used year round to help keep the Holston River side of Boone Lake clear of debris.
BLA representatives made a similar request of Bristol, Tennessee, while Sullivan County agreed last year to give the BLA $62,500 toward the $125,000 total purchase. To date, the Bristol City Council has not approved the request.
During Tuesday’s BMA meeting in Kingsport, city leaders voted 3-3 to approve the request, which means the measure failed.
Mayor Pat Shull, Alderman Darrell Duncan and Alderman James Phillips voted in favor of the funding, while Vice-Mayor Colette George, Alderwoman Jennifer Adler and Alderwoman Betsy Cooper voted against.
“I’m disappointed (the BLA) did not do this as a regional project and ask everyone to contribute, to buy one really nice boat,” George said. “The way it was done and entered into was unfortunate.”
In other business Tuesday night, the BMA:
• Applied for a $1.7 million federal grant, which would go toward the funding of a garage for the Kingsport Area Transit Service.
The grant requires that Tennessee and Kingsport each pitch in $210,000.
Kingsport has long planned for a garage at the new transit center, one that would hold KATS’ entire fleet of 22 vans, with extra space for future vehicles. The 23,000-square-foot garage will have six bays, a wash bay, a small office, storage space and restrooms.
The current estimate on the project is $4.4 million (30% federal, 50% Tennessee and 20% Kingsport).
Chris Campbell, public transportation manager for KATS, said the city is hoping to go out to bid on the project this summer with work taking 12 to 18 months to complete.
• Authorized the transfer of 1324 Midland Drive to the Kingsport Economic Development Board, which will try to sell the building. City leaders have previously talked about their desire to see the structure back on the tax rolls.
The 7,000-square-foot building has been used by Kingsport City Schools and the city for about 15 years, but now that most city offices are relocating to the new city hall downtown, the building will soon be empty.
• Amended the zoning of 34 acres of land along Glory Road and Rocky Branch Road on first reading. The zoning is being changed from R-1B (residential) to PD (planned development). The property owner, Shekinah Church Ministries, plans to build a single-family development on the property, according to documents filed with the city.
WISE — Final details are being worked out prior to Tuesday’s expected Wise County Public Service Authority ratification of the Pound water-sewer takeover agreement.
PSA Executive Director Cody McElroy on Wednesday said Pound residents and out-of-town customers will be included in the authority’s county-wide customer base in about 60 days after the June 8 PSA Board vote.
Pound Town Council voted May 27 to adopt the agreement, more than a year after PSA officials gave the town a study on the advantages of consolidating the town’s water and sewer with the county system.
The council’s approval of the PSA agreement came after an ultimatum the same day of the vote: Consolidate with the county or face civil and criminal prosecution for failing to perform state-mandated sewer system repairs for five years.
Town and PSA officials have been working out final details of the agreement, including a state-ordered list of debts associated with the town utilities systems and continued collection of a surcharge to fund the town’s volunteer fire department, McElroy said.
“With the proposed in-town FY22 rates from Pound, those customers will see a smaller increase to the PSA rate structure than originally anticipated under older town rates,” McElroy noted. “Out-of-town customers should realize a savings each month when comparing the PSA rates to the proposed Pound FY22 rates for those customers.”
According to a PSA comparison of county rates and a planned town rate hike for fiscal year 2021-22, McElroy said town residents will see water and sewer rate hikes starting July 1 in line with the county’s rates.
Town customers outside Pound’s limits will see their rates decrease in line with county rates.
In-town Pound would have seen basic water and sewer rates of $19.07 and $24.86 per 1,000 gallons each of water and sewage flow, respectively. Under PSA service, those customers will see basic service rates rise to $29 and $40.
In-town customers would have paid $11.79 and $13.26 for each additional 1,000 gallons of water and sewage flow. Those rates increase to $12.50 and $14.
Town customers living outside Pound’s boundaries will see their base rates drop under the consolidation agreement, from $28.60 and $37.32 for water and sewer, respectively, by 40 cents and $2.68. The rate per additional 1,000 gallons of water and sewer will drop by $1.51 and $5.89, respectively.
Customer billing under the PSA should be similar to the town’s billing system, McElroy said.
McElroy said PSA staff are reviewing the agreement and information from state enforcement agencies as the authority prepares to take over operations and maintenance of the systems.
That work will include PSA staff visits to the town soon, he added.
“(The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality) has funded two sewer projects the town was unable to progress to construction on,” McElroy said. “Anything that was already in the pipeline, we will review to make sure it aligns with our methods and procedures and try to progress towards construction quickly. There remains a lot of information yet to gather moving forward.”
While town officials in recent months have discussed expanding town boundaries — including a boundary adjustment to include the former Pound High School site — as part of broader economic development efforts, McElroy said the PSA is willing to help where it can with water and sewer aspects of any development.
“Our first priority, however, remains to get both water and wastewater in compliance with regulations,” McElroy said.
The PSA will be hiring new staff to help manage the town water and sewer systems, McElroy said, but the authority has told state and federal agencies that consolidation cannot put “an undue burden” on the PSA customer base. The authority already had its own long-range capital plan, he added, and taking on Pound’s utilities means that plan has expanded.
“We expect there to be assistance with debt restructuring, increased grant amounts, and whatever else is available to protect existing and new customers,” said McElroy.