Cleveland Police asks TBI to review assault allegations against DA Steve Bebb
Former Bradley County assistant district attorney, Cynthia Schemel, claims she was assaulted by her boss, District Attorney Steve Bebb. She filed a police report over the weekend and now police have asked the TBI to get involved.
Cynthia Schemel claims last Wednesday, D.A. Steve Bebb was yelling at someone in the office and when she tried to intervene, she says Bebb grabbed her and acted like he was going to punch her. Friday she was fired. Saturday, she filed a report with the police department. A state senator then got involved, and asked the TBI to step in.
The Cleveland Police Department will only confirm that former assistant district attorney Cindy Schemel filed a report, claiming misdemeanor assault against District Attorney Steve Bebb. The department would not comment further, saying it is "an open investigation."
"After hearing the allegations, I called TBI and I requested that the TBI look into the situation," says state Senator Mike Bell of District 9.
Republican State Senator Mike Bell says he was contacted by a friend of Schemel.
"I call on Bebb to resign. It's time to put this behind us," says Bell.
Bell says Schemel's allegations come on top of other misconduct allegations against Bebb that the Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating.
"I think the judicial system has suffered under the leadership of Bebb over the last eight years."
As far as Schemel being fired, she told our partners at the Times Free Press it is because she supports Steve Crump in the race for district attorney, over opponent Stephen Hatchett, who is supported by Bebb.
"I seriously doubt that had anything to do with her firing," says Stephen Hatchett.
Hatchett says Schemel is just putting on a political show.
"It's been common knowledge for months that she supports Steve Crump. Nobody cares. I certainly don't care," he says.
Hatchett also points out the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility recently cleared Bebb of ethics charges.
"That should tell people what this is about, right there. And hopefully we don't spend thousands of dollars again on something that's just politics," says Hatchett.
Steve Crump issued a statement to Channel 3, reading in part: "I agree with my opponent that Steven Bebb is entitled to every presumption of innocence. However, an alleged victim is entitled to fair treatment and protection as well…I am disappointed that my opponent would attack an alleged crime victim in the media before the facts have been heard or the investigation is even completed."
Channel 3 reached out to both Bebb and Schemel for further comment, with no official response.
While the TBI says it has been made aware of the allegations, it has not opened an official investigation.