Newport City Police captain resigns after alleged $10k church theft

Officials said the alleged theft took place between August 2020 and June 2021.
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 1:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 2:46 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A patrol captain with the Newport City Police Department is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from a church, according to court documents.

Officials with the City of Newport said Stephen Andrew Higginbotham, 38, resigned this week.

Court records stated Higginbotham was arrested in Greene County and charged with theft of property over $10,000 from the O&S Chapel United Methodist Church. The charge is considered a class C felony.

Officials said Higginbotham allegedly took the funds from the church without the owner’s “effective consent and with the intent to deprive the owner thereof.” The theft reportedly took place between August 2020 and June 24, 2021, reports stated.

Higginbotham was suspended from the department on June 30, 2021, according to Newport City Police Chief Maurice Shults. Chief Shults told WVLT he was aware of Higginbotham’s arrest but did not confirm if the suspension was connected to the arrest.

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