A Franklin County Teacher That Was Fired, Files Suit Against The Franklin County Sheriff

lawsuitA Franklin County teacher has been released from her position, following a Department of Children’s Services child abuse investigation that stemmed from a previous probe about a potential link to methamphetamine production.
However, the teacher, Susan Meeks, was never charged nor arrested in connection with the incident and has now filed a $1.5 million defamation of character lawsuit against Sheriff Tim Fuller in response to statements he had allegedly made about the case.
Dr. Rebecca Sharber, director of schools, said Friday she was following a new change in the state law that she had only recently been made aware of. She said the law says employees who have been investigated by DCS for child abuse cannot be retained as employees.
However, Colette Crawley-Martin, a case reviewer with the Department of Children’s Services, had written a letter to South Middle School Principal Sandra Stewart explaining the DCS’ approach to the situation involving Meeks, who had been the South Middle School guidance counselor before the incident had occurred and was transferred to North Middle School as a reading teacher.
Sharber said that the system’s legal counsel had advised her of the law, and although Meeks has not been charged, the law’s language has been changed to address “retaining” existing employees.
Sharber in a letter dated August 27 wrote; “Based on this information I have no ability to retain you as an employee of the Franklin County School System. As of today, you are no longer employed by the Franklin County School System.”
Meeks filed the lawsuit against Fuller on Aug. 26, seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
The lawsuit says that on Aug. 29, 2013, “Sheriff Tim Fuller gave a statement to News Channels 4 and 5 (Nashville) in which he specifically claimed that Ms. Meeks was personally making illegal methamphetamine in her home, and that she did so while young children were present. Fuller then stated of Ms. Meeks, ‘It’s terrible that an educator has gotten into this,’” according to the lawsuit.
In November 2013, a Franklin County Grand Jury heard the evidence against Meeks and “found that there was no probable cause to indict her for any crime,” the lawsuit says. (Some information from the Winchester Herald-Chronicle)