'Ex-jailer indicted in sex case' and other regional news

'Ex-jailer indicted in sex case' and other regional news

May 18th, 2012 by Staff Reports in News

Former McMinn County jailer Justin Swafford.

Former McMinn County jailer Justin Swafford.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Ex- jailer indicted in sex case

ATHENS, Tenn. -- A fired McMinn County jailer has been indicted on charges of having sexual contact with an inmate, Sheriff Joe Guy said in a news release Thursday evening.

Guy said the jailer, Justin Swafford, was fired April 13 after an investigation. He said the charge is a felony.

He said the charge involved contact, not actual sex, between Swafford and a female inmate. His office began an investigation last month in consultation with the district attorney's office, he said.

"We saw what appeared to be a pattern of policy violations, as well as criminal conduct on the part of Mr. Swafford," Guy said in the release. "It is always disappointing to find misconduct and bad decisions in a staff member, but our department has high standards of conduct that we live and work by. We cannot tolerate violations of those standards."

Swafford had worked at the jail since Dec. 25, 2010. He was booked and released on $2,500 bond and faces arraignment in Criminal Court on June 4, the release stated.

Residents may lose water service

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. -- A mountain community near Crossville could be cut off from water service after the local property owners association announced it no longer would provide water to residents outside its group.

The Laurel Hills Property Owners Association notified residents on Renegade Mountain and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation that effective July 9 it no longer will provide water service to other residents.

Renegade Mountain Home Owners Association President John Moore said he hopes the situation can be resolved before the cutoff date.

Moore heads a group of about 120 homeowners who would be affected by a cutoff.

"For whatever reason they want people off this mountain," he said.

Nashville attorney Donald Scholes, representing the POA in the case, said the organization felt operating the utility was more trouble than it's worth and gave residents 60 days' notice of a cutoff.

University creates health institute

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Georgia Health Sciences University has created an institute to focus on helping the state improve its health profile.

The Institute of Public and Preventive Health will host community programs and conduct research on public health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, obesity and AIDS. Georgia ranks near the top nationwide in states with those issues, and 30 counties in the state have a lower life expectancy than some Third World countries.

Nearly 40 faculty members from the university will staff the institute, and more faculty will be recruited.

Ultimately, the institute will test novel approaches to solving public health problems in the state.