some text
Cindy Griggs and Dennis Maddux

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- A divorce petition filed by Cleveland police officer Jeff Griggs says he took photographs of his boss, acting police Chief Dennis Maddux, and his wife, Cindy Griggs, kissing in a car on Saturday, and that his wife hit him in the face while forcibly taking the memory card from the camera he used.

Griggs is on paid administrative leave after Cindy Griggs charged him with domestic abuse. Maddux, whose first day as chief would have been Sunday, has been demoted and reassigned to his former post as captain of the support services division, department spokeswoman Sgt. Evie West said.

However, she said, City Manager Janice Casteel, who took over the department on Monday, said there is no internal investigation into the incident. Casteel did not respond Tuesday to questions why Maddux had been demoted and reassigned without an investigation. But West said Casteel told her an investigation is possible after Griggs' criminal charges are resolved.

Griggs was charged by the McMinn County Sheriff's Office on Saturday after his wife told deputies he bit her fingers when she tried to retrieve the memory card from the camera that he had used to covertly photograph her and Maddux, who is also married, in a parked vehicle.

Griggs' attorney, James F. Logan Jr., said Tuesday that Griggs pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in McMinn County. Efforts are also under way to dismiss the criminal charge, he said.

"Multifaceted motions" will be presented at a March 11 hearing to dismiss the domestic violence assault charges, Logan said.

According to a court affidavit filed by the McMinn deputies, Cindy Griggs said she was afraid of her husband and had met with Maddux to discuss previously unreported incidents of spousal abuse.

Jeff Griggs' divorce papers, filed Monday, paint a different picture of Saturday's events.

The petition says Griggs saw his wife and Maddux returning to a place where they "had apparently met and departed in a borrowed automobile."

When Griggs began taking photos of the two kissing, Maddux "drove away at a high rate of speed," with Cindy Griggs, according to the complaint. Somewhere farther on, Maddux stopped his car and Cindy Griggs got out, walking down the road until her husband stopped his truck and she entered it. A fight quickly ensued, Griggs said.


Affidavit of Complaint State v. Griggs


"She then grabbed Plaintiff's [Griggs'] camera and began fighting him," according to the husband's complaint. "She punched him in the face, blooded [sic] his lip and removed [the camera memory card] depicting [her] misconduct with Maddux."

Griggs' wife destroyed the memory card at a nearby home and called McMinn authorities, according to the sheriff's office affidavit.

Logan said "trust issues abound" in his client's case.

Casteel on Monday released a memo stating that Maddux has been removed from his post and that she would lead the department. She said she would form a panel to study how to restructure the department.

Maddux, a 28-year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department, was promoted to captain over the support services division in 2012, according to a January announcement about the decision to appoint him as the department's chief.

"I put my confidence in the experience of the appointed leaders of the department and believe that they will continue to lead the officers on a proactive and progressive path," Casteel said in that announcement.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at