Deputy accused of removing jail papers

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A senior Loudon County Sheriff’s Office deputy was dismissed last week for allegedly removing documents from the county jail.

Capt. Bill Shirk, jail administrator and ostensibly fourth in command at the sheriff’s office, was discharged from duty Friday for violation of county policy and state law, according to Sheriff Tim Guider.

“He removed government documents from the premises. They were documents related to the jail administration,” said Guider, who would not expand on the matter further.

It is the second time in less than two years that Shirk, a 25-year veteran of the LCSO, has been dismissed by Guider. Shirk was terminated Sept. 2, 2005, for what Guider termed as unsatisfactory job performance.

Shirk appealed his termination to the Loudon County Merit Service Board and was reinstated Dec. 12, 2005, with back pay. At the time, Guider said the reinstatement was because of the merit board’s inability to have a fair hearing on the matter.

Guider said Monday that Shirk again will have the opportunity to make his case before the merit board. “I have heard he plans to appeal,” he said.

Shirk said he has hired Knoxville attorney Herbert S. Moncier and that he does plan on appealing his dismissal.

“He’s accused me of taking documents, but he can’t prove that,” Shirk said. “I expect to be completely vindicated.”

Shirk repeated charges he made in 2005 that his dismissal was a result of his failing to cooperate with Guider in the cover-up of extortion charges against Chief Deputy Tony Aikens.

Aikens recently was cleared of the charges, which stem from a 2003 incident where a motorist stopped in Loudon County claimed that he was forced to “donate” money found in his vehicle to a sheriff’s office drug fund.

“It all started when Chief Deputy Aikens extorted money,” Shirk said. “I let him know I wouldn’t be part of the corruption.”

Shirk has continued to say that Guider is not in control of his own department and should resign. “It’s all political. He runs a corrupt department.”

Moncier said he is reviewing the case and will be making the appropriate response sometime next week.