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Mugshot of Robin B. Smith contributed by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office

A former misdemeanor probation officer who was once mayor of Decherd, Tennessee, was arrested Wednesday on charges he allegedly took more than $2,500 of some probationers' payments for himself.

Robin B. Smith, 59, is charged with one felony count of theft and one count of official misconduct in a Franklin County grand jury indictment, court records show. Court officials said Thursday that Smith has no attorney on record but faces arraignment in Circuit Court on Sept. 13, when he will have a hearing on the status of his legal representation.

Smith was released Wednesday on a $10,000 bond, according to jail officials.

The investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which began in November 2018, was launched at the request of 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said in a news release.

On Thursday, Taylor said Smith is accused of collecting "supervision fees from his probationers, and then instead of turning them in to [the Southeast Tennessee Human Resources Agency], he was converting them, allegedly, to his own use.

"Since he was acting in the official capacity as a probation officer, that's where you get the official misconduct charge," Taylor said.

According to the indictment issued in Franklin County Circuit Court, the investigation focused on the period between June 30, 2018, and May 31, 2019. Smith allegedly took agency funds totaling at least $2,500 but less than $10,000, court records state.

The theft charge is a class D felony and the misconduct charge is a class E felony, Taylor said.

The Southeast Tennessee Human Resources Agency's probation office monitors court costs, fines and victim restitution, random drug screening, house arrest, public service work, placement in drug and alcohol programs, continuing education and other related services, according to the agency website. The office serves Franklin County, as well as Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie counties.

Officials in the agency's main office in Dunlap, Tennessee, could not be reached for comment Thursday on whether any probationers ended up in trouble with court over the missing funds.

Taylor said he was unaware of any problems, and thought that had a probationer been cited to court for nonpayment, the missing money probably would have become immediately apparent.

According to accounts in the Herald-Chronicle newspaper in Winchester, Smith has served in Decherd as an alderman and mayor, and lost his bid for re-election in August to new Mayor Michael Gillespie.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.

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