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LaFollette police captain suspended without pay, investigated for misconduct

District Attorney General Jared Effler said he asked the TBI to investigate allegations of misconduct by Capt. Steve Wallen.

LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. — The LaFollette Police Department said Captain Steve Wallen is back working for the department after the District Attorney General found his conduct not to be "criminal in nature," according to a press release from June 27, 2022. 

The city of LaFollette put Captain Steve Wallen on administrative leave without pay, according to documents obtained by 10News through an open records request. 

On June 8, LaFollette City Administrator Stan Foust sent a letter to Wallen to notify him he would be placed on leave. The letter said the leave would be "pending an investigation" into "alleged misconduct while performing your employment duties as a police officer."

Campbell County District Attorney General Jared Effler said he asked the TBI to investigate Wallen that day. The TBI confirmed it was asked to investigate allegations of misconduct by an employee of the LaFollette Police Department, but could not provide any additional comment. 

LaFollette Police Chief William Roehl referred questions to Effler. 

"When they go ahead and take the next step and put somebody on leave without pay, it generally is indicative of the fact that there's a very strong case behind their decision making," said T. Scott Jones, a Knoxville attorney. "I'd say that their discharge, if not already happened, is certainly on the immediate horizon." 

On June 3, 10News sent an open records request to the city about two topics. One was a ticket that was supposedly given out but wasn't part of the city's records or the court docket. 

In the response to that open records request, Foust said "The City of LaFollette does not possess any documentation on that matter." 

"As you know, there is an ongoing investigation and if any documentation is discovered then we will supplement this response," he added. 

Wallen was on the Criminal Investigations Unit, according to the police department's website. The unit responded to crime scenes and investigated cases referred to them by the patrol division.

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