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Lyons Town Marshal placed on administrative leave

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LYONS -- Lyons Town Marshal Ron Sparks has been placed on administrative leave effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15. He will receive pay and benefits for 28 days.

The Lyons Town Council met with Town Attorney Lucas Rudisill Thursday evening in an executive session called for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter concerning Sparks. Executive sessions are not open to the public.

Immediately following their executive session, the Council met at 6 p.m. in a special session in order to take action.

Special sessions are open to the public, and the public was there -- a room full of people came to observe, but they didn't get a chance to speak.

Council President Scott Powers opened the meeting by telling those in attendance the council would not be accepting comments.

Powers said the purpose of the meeting was to take action on the employment status of Sparks due to the preliminary charges that have been filed against him.

Sparks is accused of criminal confinement, a class D felony, and battery, a class B misdemeanor, that allegedly occurred on Nov. 3, 2012.

Following an investigation by Special Prosecutor Barry Brown, a criminal case was filed against Sparks on Feb. 8 and a warrant issued for his arrest. Sparks turned himself in at the Greene County Sheriff's Department then was released the same day after posting a cash bond.

Sparks is scheduled to appear in Greene Superior Court at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for an initial hearing.

During Thursday's meeting, all three council members were present along with Clerk-Treasurer Kim Flynn and Rudisill.

Sparks will receive full pay and benefits through March 14 -- 28 days. He is to return equipment owned by the town, and the council also specified that during his leave, he will receive no reimbursement from the town for being a firefighter.

Powers did say that if Sparks is exonerated from the charges, the council may readdress the issue of back pay.

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I hope this can all be straightened out without ruining the life of a good man.

-- Posted by ptbad on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 4:06 AM

WoW a 28 day paid vacation I thought a volunteer firefighter was just that VOLUNTEER???

-- Posted by ChooChoo on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 6:19 AM

for FD you get a few $$ for clothing allowance and help pay for your gasoline and stuff.

-- Posted by GreeneFor Life on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 9:33 AM

might wanna re-read the article choochoo.....

-- Posted by jlm21848 on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 12:11 PM

where's a good man! one that beats a lady or lets his cop car run for hours when he sets in the station,one that won't take phone calls. or come to the door if you need help

-- Posted by lyonsone on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 12:12 PM

I think the Lyons town policeman did an outstanding job. Would you want to work for the pay they get with all the hours they put in? All the criticism they receive? How about standing behind a good man and show your support? Maybe say a little prayer for this man, he needs support at this time.

-- Posted by FlossieM on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 12:46 PM

I have no problem giving someone prayers in ANY situation..but IF he did what the woman says he did to her..he does NOT deserve support..SHE does...I am not from Lyon's, I do not know either person involved..just thought I would throw that out there.

-- Posted by lintonite on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 1:31 PM

Choochoo, this is not a vacation!!! I imagine if you would take a bit of time to speak to your town council members (since you seem to care sooooo much) you may find out that he has earned this time!!! and maybe it is time he has coming to him already!!! people like you annoy me!!!

-- Posted by lillymae on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 5:04 PM

Before anyone makes a rush to judgement think about a few things:

He is a sworn officer and entitled to the respect that comes with the job.

He is entitled to the assurence of due process after having been accused.

No persons, except those that were there at the time knows what really happened. Remember, not one of the reports says that he beat her. He is accused of refusing to allow her to leave. He restained her and prevented her from leaving. We do not know why. Perhaps something else had been said, or there was a reason that he did not think she should be leave. Perhaps for her own safety, we may never know.

Last, remember that it is not our job to judge him, that is the job of the court system. Those who want to spew comments about cars running and other things only show their lack of knowledge on many things about being in Law Enforcement. Ask questions before you cast stones.

-- Posted by crhinusa1 on Sat, Feb 16, 2013, at 9:46 AM

We are upset because he is a sworn officer so he should have known not to allow himself to get in this situation. You're ignoring the known facts. HE WAS DRUNK. He restrained her because he they were fighting. A good cop/man would not have been "that" drunk. Lyonsone only mentioned a hand full of Mr. Sparks's deeds that have been witnessed around this town.

Remember we (the tax payers) employ him, so it is our job to judge him and the actions of the council.

-- Posted by Just my philosophy on Sat, Feb 16, 2013, at 4:12 PM

Sorry but he is human as well as a sworn peace officer. He was legally drunk, that does not tell us his funtional level of impairment.

As for a "good man" not getting that drunk? Well that comment only shows your narrow mindedness.

There are plenty of "good men" who could not reach your standard.

You and I were not there, so we do not know what happened there. So there was a disturbance, does not mean they were fighting. Your definition of fighting may differ greatly from mine or the statutes of our I.C. Code.

And last but not least. NO, you do not employ him. The Town Board is his employer. It is not your job to judge him, nor anyone else but yourself.

You have made it obvious that you have a personal ax to grind, and you are grinding that ax based on a lack of facts, and more on what you "think" you know. Do some research, locate that facts, then speak.

The only thing you control in this case is your own personal vote when the BOD comes up for elections.

Fortunatly we still live in a country where we can all have an input, no matter how we may feel.

-- Posted by crhinusa1 on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 10:29 AM

Amazing people feel sorry for the Lady involved, They are still together!!! She wasn't to upset over so called confinement if she is still with him! Ron's a good guy and it will be a loss for Lyons if he loses his job!

-- Posted by lbpeabody on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 12:21 PM

So crhinusa1, u say, the taxpapers do not pay his paycheck? Last time, I checked, we pay alot of your paychecks, just thought you might want to check that out.

-- Posted by mimosa11 on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 3:52 PM

Ooooooh! Got ya there!

-- Posted by avenger on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 10:40 AM

in the first article I beleive it claims that he has a misd charge of battery, so, that means he battered her according to the law and he confined her which is the felony charge. I don't understand why the 3rd person who was at the residence was never questioned? maybe the prosecutor has his reason's...

-- Posted by elynn66 on Tue, Feb 19, 2013, at 9:38 AM

In his defense, he did turn himself in. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. It's not repeating those mistakes that makes the difference. However, if what's stated IS true, perhaps some anger management and AA would help if indeed he is dependent upon alcohol. He has helped the community by being a peace officer. Not many people volunteer for that responsibility. All will work itself out. Let's be positive that it turns out the best for both parties involved.

-- Posted by chocolateandcheese on Tue, Feb 19, 2013, at 3:01 PM

As is usual, most people don't know where the money that pays for your Law Enforcement comes from. Only a small portion of the funds that pay for your Law Enforcement come from local taxes. There are many different funding sources that go into paying your town Marshal's paycheck, and NO they do not all come from taxes.

It is a long list, but you can check with Kim at the Town of Lyons and she can tell you that this is correct. I did it before I spoke without knowing for sure of what I speak. Maybe others should do this also.

So, there ya have it,,,gotcha there? I don't think so.

-- Posted by crhinusa1 on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 8:20 AM

The victim is still with him? Good guys do not beat on women...drunk or sober. We as citizens do pay his salary through our taxes. And the average citizen does not get the opportunity to save their job with an employer and can be fired without recourse for anything the employer wants to use against us. I know we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty; but, most of the Lyons community is not supportive of the Board's decision to let him stay on as the town cop. So, with a divided community, we should have our opinions taken into consideration. Don't know him on a personal level; but, as a representative of our small community he does not warrant my respect.

-- Posted by TruDee on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 9:12 AM

WOW!! Sure is easy to sit in judgement of another person when we don't know what really happened. The town policeman has not told his story and will probably never tell it to the people who has sit in judgement of a one sided story. I admire him for not mudslinging about this. I imagine that 95% if the citizens in Lyons has done something that they are not proud of or have and still do consume too much alchol at times. So shouldn't we let the lawmakers make the judgement on this and not totally destroy this man's life, he has given many years of his life in law enforcement with very little in return. I pray that he keeps his job and be pardoned by the board. I think he should make a public apology for this and that he will not let something like this happen again. Wasn't the woman and other person just a little at fault and the law for taking so long in making a decision on any action. Let us weigh all sides in this.

-- Posted by FlossieM on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 3:50 PM

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