DA Bebb reinstates ADA to position
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Apr 09, 2014 | 1414 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tenth Judicial District Attorney General Steve Bebb and Assistant District Attorney Cynthia LeCroy-Schemel have reached a “resolution” which drops assault charges she had filed against Bebb and restores her to the position from which she was dismissed last week.

A joint statement, signed by both parties, was released late Tuesday confirming the agreement.

The press release, typed on the DA’s letterhead and signed by both Bebb and LeCroy-Schemel, reads as follows:

“Both Steve Bebb and Cindy LeCroy-Schemel are and have been passionate, both as prosecutors and as people.

“In many offices, disagreements sometimes arise among peers, the District Attorney’s Office is no exception to this rule.

“In regard to the events of last week, in the best interest of the office and the people of the district, a resolution has been reached wherein General Bebb has reinstated Ms. LeCroy-Schemel to her position as an Assistant District Attorney.

“The office continues to function as usual and will continue to provide the best service possible to the citizens of the 10th Judicial District.”

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Police Department officially announced early this morning LeCroy-Schemel signed a nonprosecution form on Tuesday dropping the charges which were filed as a simple assault.

“The Cleveland Police Department has closed the case,” according to a statement issued by CPD Public Information Officer Evie West.

“Our department dedicated many administrative work hours into this matter over the past four days. We have worked with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to assure that the matter was handled appropriately.”

The CPD statement noted the matter had been resolved “before we had a clear direction for the investigation.”

“At that point, we concluded our involvement in the matter,” the statement said.

The department released the incident report early today.

The report, filed by CPD Officer Daniel Gibbs, reads as follows:

“On Friday 4-14-14, Cynthia Schemel made contact with me at the Cleveland Police Department in reference to an assault report.

“Ms. Schemel advised on Wednesday 4-2-14 her co-worker, Tish Myers, got her attention about Steve Bebb screaming at another co-worker, Katie Brazier.

“Ms. Schemel advised she did attempt to intervene and when she did, Steve Bebb grabbed her arm and acted like he was going to punch her.

“Ms. Schemel stated that investigator Calvin Rockholt then stepped between them.

“Ms. Schemel also stated that she is not sure which arm Steve Bebb grabbed and there are no visible signs of the alleged assault on her arms.

“Ms. Schemel stated that attorney Richard Fischer was also present during this incident.

“Ms. Schemel advised that employees Katie Brazier, Stephanie Jones, Tish Myers and Calvin Rockholt all were present in the office during this incident.

“I advised Captain Gibson of this incident and he contacted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.”

LeCroy-Schemel filed her complaint with Cleveland police claiming Bebb assaulted her and then relieved her of her duties.

Bebb told the Cleveland Daily Banner early today he understood the relevance to the story of having the incident report released, but asserted it “was not true.” He added that LeCroy-Schemel’s attitude and comments during their private meetings over the past few days, as well as the signing of the non-prosecution form, brings the matter to a close. He described the agreement with LeCroy-Schemel as being for the betterment of everyone in the Attorney General’s office.

Bebb told the Banner today the incident developed from pressures on the office and the mix of political differences. But, he added Tuesday had been “a wonderful day.”

He said the meeting between the two parties had been facilitated by Cleveland attorney Jim Logan, who had been contacted by LeCroy-Schemel.

“He called me and I agreed to meet,” Bebb said. “He was not supposed to meet with us, but I asked him to.”

Bebb said he had fired only one other person during his tenure, and that was for theft.

“I did lose sleep that night thinking about it,” he said.

After the session with LeCroy-Schemel and Logan, the DA then met in a separate session alone with LeCroy-Schemel, Bebb explained. He described the meeting as very emotional.

“We talked about all the times we had together and what we had been able to accomplish,” he said.

Bebb advised LeCroy-Schemel has agreed to be assigned to the Athens office.

“The nice thing was she spent the day going to all the people that had been mad at each other,” Bebb noted.

He said LeCroy-Schemel has also called state Sen. Mike Bell who had called for Bebb’s resignation, as well as specific media outlets with which she had been in contact, to tell of the repaired relationship.

“We just got into an argument we shouldn’t have gotten into,” Bebb said.

“She’s a good lawyer,” Bebb said. “I know we had a case in court of where a child had been raped. Even though she had been fired, she sat behind the family while the perpetrator pled for a 30-year sentence. That didn’t cause me to hire her back, but I think it says a lot about her.”

Bebb said the staff “has been under a great deal of stress for the last year and a half.”

“I guess the steam just blew off,” he said.

“I am very pleased with the attitudes that have changed in the office,” Bebb added. “Everyone has made up and I told them we need to be a team, because we don’t have much time before I head for the barn.”

Tenth District Attorney General candidate and former assistant District Attorney Stephen Hatchett released some strong views of his own today, following his earlier comments Tuesday in which he suggested initial reports of the assault incident were “just politics” because LeCroy-Schemel had been supporting Republican Primary opponent Steve Crump.

Hatchett released a statement to the Banner this morning:

“After reading the joint press release issued by District Attorney General Steve Bebb and Cindy Schemel, I am unsure how they think this situation can be resolved with a statement about how passionate they both are.

“Mrs. Schemel made numerous accusations, not the least of which was that she was assaulted which was reported to the Cleveland Police Department and put on the front page of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“For them to say that it is in the best interest of the people of this district that a ‘resolution’ be reached is ridiculous.

“The people of this district deserve the truth about what happened.

“The men and women of the Cleveland Police Department deserve to not be used as pawns in political games.

“The voters of the district deserve to have the best people possible working in the District Attorney’s office, not people who behave in the manner exhibited this week.

“Either an assault occurred or a false police report was filed. Both are crimes in Tennessee and this matter should be investigated fully instead of being swept under the rug.

“This type of backroom deal is exactly why the people have no confidence in public officials. It is past time for politics as usual to end in this district and a new day to begin.”

The Banner placed a phone call to LeCroy-Schemel this morning for comment, but was informed by a staff member LeCroy-Schemel was in a meeting. She had not returned the call as of press time.