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      Heartland deputy canned; criminal investigation underway

      Howard Smith: Former Knox Co. Sheriff's Deputy fired over allegations of stealing

      A Knox County Sheriff??s Deputy is fired over allegations stating that he allegedly stole from the sheriff??s office.

      Former Knox Co. Sheriff??s Deputy, Howard Smith is also accused of allegedly taking that evidence and stolen property from the sheriff??s office, and selling it on eBay.

      After some information was brought to their attention, The Edina Sentinel discovered Smith has been charged, but not convicted, with theft in the past.

      The Edina Sentinel was able to find through court documents out of Adams County, Illinois, that back on February 23, 1993, Smith was ticketed for theft and pled not guilty to that charge. He was ordered by the court to serve three months probation and pay a fine of $137.

      The charge was eventually dismissed after his probation period and payment of the fine was completed.

      I went to Edina early Wednesday morning to try and get some answers. First, I stopped by the Knox County Sheriff??s Office and Sheriff Mike Kite declined to comment on the case. I also tried to get a comment from the Assistant Knox Co. Prosecuting Attorney, Jo Fortney, but her office declined to comment as well. I was even able to track down Presiding Commissioner, Evan Glasgow, and he declined to comment on the case.

      I was able to get community reaction about this situation. I interviewed resident Cliff Blake, who was the only one to agree to go on camera.

      Ela: ??What do you think should be done??? Blake: ??Get rid of all the cops and start again.?? Ela: ??So what do you think it does to the community that is so small, and everyone knows each other??? Blake: ??I don??t know.?? Ela: ??How does it make you feel knowing you can??t trust your own law enforcement??? Blake: ??Never could.?? Ela: ??Is there anything else you want to say??? Blake: ??It??s been like this for years. You got cops that do things; if they like you, they do it. If they don??t like you, they do what the hell they want to.??

      Others were hesitant to talk on camera, but one man did tell me this off-camera, ??It??s a shame that law enforcement thinks they can go above the law??.

      Now again, these are allegations and the investigation is now in the hands of Missouri State Highway Patrol??s Division of Drug and Crime Control or DDCC.

      No Charges have been filed against Howard Smith in this case.

      KTVO will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.