Police officer facing felony charges is back on the job in Leadwood

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 8:38 PM

LEADWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A Leadwood police officer facing felony charges is back on the job, while a criminal investigation continues on his alleged wrongdoing.

Eric Smith, 29, was arrested in December for allegedly taking orders and deposits for taxidermy work that he did not complete.

After the arrest, Smith was suspended and placed on administrative leave.

"The board talked, and since he went to court and they postponed it, I think they were trying to drop the charges to a misdemeanor," said Leadwood Mayor Dennis Parks. "So we feel that he is not a danger, so we allowed him to come back to work."

Parks said he did not want to keep Smith from earning a paycheck for a crime he has not been convicted of doing.

"If he was a danger, he would not come back to work," Parks said.

Some Leadwood residents told News 4 they are concerned, not about the charge, but the example Smith should be setting as a police officer.

Smith's hearing has been postponed until the end of February. If convicted, Smith would be forced to leave his post due to laws prohibiting felons from owning firearms.

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