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Suspended sheriff’s officer returns to work, but at lower rank

A Carter County Sheriff’s Department officer who was suspended earlier this month returned to duty this week after a disciplinary hearing on complaints about his conduct.
Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said that a disciplinary hearing was held on Monday for Carter County Sheriff’s Department employee Shane Watson, and that as a result of the hearing and investigation into the complaint Watson would be returning to work but at a lower rank.
“He was demoted from sergeant to deputy, and his salary was cut,” Mathes said. “He was also given a letter of counseling, all related to conduct unbecoming an officer.”
Watson also received a five-day suspension as a result of the hearing, which will be counted from the time he was suspended from duty for the investigation, Mathes said.
Mathes said Watson has returned to work and was allowed to use accrued vacation time to cover the suspension.
Mathes declined to release further information regarding the nature of the complaint against Watson or the findings of the investigation.