Randolph County Deputy Remains Terminated After Hearing

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Inside the Randolph County Courthouse it was more than eight hours of grueling testimony as former Randolph County Sheriff's Deputy Todd Grooms tried  to get back his job.

Throughout the testimony, witnesses expressed why they were upset with Grooms' actions while busting an underage drinking pary on the morning of April 13th after the Pocahontas High School Prom.

"It upset me because he was ignoring me and wouldn't tell me what was going on.  I felt like I deserved to know what was going on," said Rebecca McQuay who was busted at the party.

It would be testimony like hers that would evenutally lead the Randolph County Grievance Committee to a unanimous vote in favor of Sheriff Gary Tribble decision to terminate Grooms' employment.

"To be honest with you, I expected this outcome," said Former Deputy Todd Grooms.

Other deputies on the scene of the party that night also testified on Grooms' behalf.

"It looked like something you'd see on TV.  It was not like anything I've ever seen in my life," said Deputy Dean Vandergriff.

However, the decision was final, and for parents like Sandra Bryant, the mother arrested at the party, this closes the controversy.

"I think this is the appropriate decision by the board.  None of us as parents were ever condoning underage drinking.  We were upset with the way we were treated, and the way the kids were treated, " said Bryant.

Sheriff Tribble also said underage drinking was never the issue at hand.

"I don't support underage drinking.  I never have.  I expect my officers to enforce underage drinking laws, but I don't expect my officers to viloate or break the laws in order to enforce the laws," said Sheriff Tribble.

But for former Deputy Grooms on final statement sums up his fight.

"Minor in possession is not a minor problem.  I think the message that was sent today is that it's not a big deal," said Grooms.

And as he begins his quest for a new job, Grooms says he plans to take his grievance case to the Circuit Court Level.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.