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Last updated on Friday, April 26, 2013
(LYONS) - Lyons Town Marshal Ron Sparks is going back to work.
Anna Rochelle of the Greene County Daily World reports that Sparks, who serves as the town's only law enforcement officer, has been on an administrative leave, but the Lyons Town Council voted unanimously for Sparks to return to full-time duty at 8 a.m. on Friday.
On Wednesday evening, the Council met with their attorney Luke Rudisill during a closed-to-the-public executive session at 5:30 p.m. then made the decision during an open-to-the-public special session at 6 p.m.
Council President Scott Powers acknowledged that a criminal case filed against Sparks had prompted the decision to place Sparks on the administrative leave.
Powers said Sparks had entered into an agreement to resolve the case with the end result expected to be that charges would be dropped.
Attorney Rudisill further explained that Sparks was participating in a pre-trial diversion program and as long as he completed the terms of an agreement, the case would be dismissed.
Sparks told the Council there's a continuance in his case and as long as he doesn't get into any trouble and meets the terms, the case will be dropped in one year.
One of the terms is that Sparks complete 14 hours of community service work. He told the Council he has already completed half of his community service and the rest will be completed soon.
Court records also show Sparks has made a payment of $330 in the Greene County Clerk's Office to cover court costs and a fee for the pre-trial diversion program.
The pre-trial diversion program is for individuals who have no criminal record and have been charged with their first offense. During the program's one-year waiting period, Sparks would not be on probation -- probation is for individuals who have been convicted. He has not been convicted and his case will just be in a holding pattern.
The case was investigated by Special Prosecutor Barry Brown of Bloomington who charged Sparks with criminal confinement, a class D felony, and battery, a class B misdemeanor, stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred on Nov. 3, 2012.
A no-contact order was initially put in place but when Sparks appeared in court for the first time, the defense requested the order be vacated and the alleged victim testified in support of dropping the no-contact order. The request was granted by the court, with Judge Dena Martin on the bench. Sparks was represented by Defense Attorney Jacob Fish.
After the case was filed, Sparks, who has served as the Lyons Town Marshal for many years, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case. The Lyons Town Council made the decision, during a special session on Feb. 14, to place him on leave effective at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 15. He received full pay and benefits for 28 days, then continued on unpaid administrative leave.
During the special session Wednesday evening, the Council did not discuss or make a decision on whether or not Sparks might receive any back pay.
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