Testimony ends in Hadder hearing
by James Phillips
Mar 06, 2013 | 7528 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Adam Hadder speaks during a recess in his due process hearing Tuesday night at the Walker County Courthouse. Daily Mountain Eagle - James Phillips
Adam Hadder speaks during a recess in his due process hearing Tuesday night at the Walker County Courthouse. Daily Mountain Eagle - James Phillips
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A due process hearing of former Walker County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Adam Hadder wrapped up Tuesday night. The Walker County Civil Service Board will now have 30 days to decide if Hadder, who was terminated in September, should be reinstated to the sheriff’s office.

Before testimony began Tuesday, one of the three charges associated with Hadder’s firing was dropped by Sheriff John Mark Tirey. The complaint by Kathy Sanford, who claimed Hadder verbally and physically assaulted her at a Curry High School football game in 2011, was struck from the charges. Tirey had said during testimony on Monday that he didn’t give much weight to that complaint.

“It was the least of the three that I took into consideration,” Tirey said Monday.

Tirey rescinded and dismissed all wrongdoing by Hadder in the Sanford incident.

Hadder took the stand Tuesday and testified for nearly two hours.

“This was my first chance to tell my side of the story,” Hadder said after the hearing. “Until now, everything has just been allegations against me by a couple of attorneys. I’m thankful to be able to address the civil service board, and I’m hopeful they will rule in my favor.”

Hadder said he was “shocked” and “surprised” by his suspension in August.

“I told the sheriff that he knew it was bull crap,” he said. “He knew my history with (Thomas) Carmichael and (Byron) McMath. I told him not to do it, but he said he had no choice.”

The suspension came after civil lawsuits were filed against Hadder by Carmichael and McMath. Carmichael filed suit on behalf of Gerald Garrison, a process server who was allegedly arrested by Hadder for attempting to serve him with a subpoena. The suit filed by McMath claimed Hadder verbally abused and threatened Shawn Franks in December 2011. Franks testified on Monday that he was wrongfully arrested by Hadder.

Hadder testified federal agents served a search warrant on the Walker County Narcotics Enforcement Team in January 2012. He said shortly after the FBI raid, Tirey shut down the narcotics division. Hadder said NET Director Paul Kilgore committed suicide only weeks later.

“After that I received several death threats,” Hadder said. “I had calls where they said, ‘we lost family and now you are going to lose family.’ I can handle myself, but I was really worried about my mom and dad.”

A short time later, Hadder’s desk and personal belongings were destroyed inside NET headquarters, he said.

“I had wanted to go in there and get my stuff, but it was all destroyed,” he said.

Hadder said he was scared when Garrison approached him in July.

“He blocked my car in, got out and walked toward me with one hand behind his back,” he said.

During cross examination, Hadder told Tina Burgett, the sheriff’s attorney, that Garrison was never arrested.

“He was detained,” Hadder said. “I never charged him with anything. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.”

Gayle Gear, Hadder’s attorney, alleged Franks was not wrongfully arrested in Dec. 2011. She submitted into evidence text messages from Franks that reportedly warned his cousin Hadder was looking for him on a cruelty to animals case. The text messages were taken from the cousin’s phone when he was arrested by Hadder. Franks was arrested and charged with obstruction of government operations. The charges against Franks and his cousin were later dismissed by Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair.

“I had spoke with Adair and he said I had enough for a warrant. He gave me the warrant,” Hadder said.

Hadder said later in his testimony that he would “love” to be reinstated. He also said he had no ill will toward Tirey.

During closing statements, Gear quoted John Adams by saying, “Facts are stubborn things.” She said there are no facts that show Hadder should have been terminated.

“This is a lawyer-driven situation,” she said. “Within days of a couple of lawsuits, Adam was out of service. This is a young man who has given his life to law enforcement. The charges against him are unfounded.”

Burgett said the termination should stand.

“The evidence clearly shows that Sheriff Tirey did not act in haste,” she said. “He could have caved in to public pressure and he didn’t. The sheriff went above and beyond to provide due process.”

Lowell Hadder, Adam Hadder’s father, testified Tuesday to parts of the Garrison incident that he saw. Roxanne Moon, the person who notified Hadder about the animal cruelty in the Franks incident, also testified Tuesday.