Hamilton County jailer arrested on misconduct charge
There's a changing of the guard at the Hamilton County Jail, after the Thursday morning arrest of one of the facility's corrections officers.
According to Deputy Chief Allen Branham, a joint investigation by the TBI and Hamilton County Sheriff's Internal Affairs Division began in early October, focusing on Steven Marcel Ward, an 8 and a half year veteran of the department.
During the course of the investigation, authorities say they developed information that Ward exceeded his authority by telling an inmate he would interfere with the judicial process related to the inmate's jail records.
A grand jury's true bill for Ward's arrest was unsealed early Thursday and executed soon afterward.
Branham says while Ward's arrest is regrettable, Branham describes it as an isolated incident that in no way compromises any pending case, except for the accused.
The 45 year old Ward was arrested on one count of official misconduct, which is a class e felony.
He quickly bailed out of the Hamilton County Jail on a 3 thousand dollar bond.
Sheriff's officials say Ward's employment record shows no prior incidents of discipline.
We spoke to Ward shortly after his release from jail.
Ward says he has little to say until his case works its way through the legal process.
If convicted, Ward could face up to six years in jail and a fine as much as $3,000.