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May 12, 2014

EPO on Walker dismissed

Sealed agreement between complainant and Walker made behind closed doors

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A sealed agreement is the only answer to questions involving the outcome of a Madison County Family Court hearing involving suspended London Police Chief Stewart Walker on Wednesday afternoon.

After approximately two hours of delegating between legal counsels and the gathering of about ten witnesses, the emergency protective order (EPO) filed against Walker on April 21 was ultimately dismissed.

According to the Madison County court docket, Family Court Judge Nora J. Shepherd—who serves in Madison and Clark counties—granted court sealed agreement made between the complainant and Walker behind closed doors.

Witnesses who were called upon to testify on behalf of both the complainant and Walker were dismissed at 4:00 p.m.—more than two hours after the scheduled hearing. A continuance of the hearing was granted on April 23 for the sole purpose of the petitioner to have “time to secure the attendance of witnesses.”

“The matter was resolved today by an agreement of the parties. The EPO was dismissed,” said Jason S. Wilson, one attorney acting as legal counsel for Walker. “Hopefully everybody can get on with their lives in the business at hand.”

According to the filed EPO, Walker was  “physically violent,” “terrorizing,” and involved in “stalking behavior” for the past year with a woman in Madison County following a live-in relationship. The complainant claims she is “afraid of him and what he might do next.”

Walker was suspended with pay on April 21 after being served with an EPO by Kentucky State Police on April 18. An official petition was sworn into Berea police on April 17.

The petitioner states she previously sought the help of Mayor Troy Rudder, who—as the mayor—is Walker’s employer and superior. During an interview on April 22, Rudder confirmed he has met with the complainant twice and was currently investigating the woman’s allegations.

Rudder was subpoenaed to appear at the hearing but his testimony was eventually unneeded.  In an interview on Thursday, the Mayor said he was expecting to discuss the terms of Walker’s suspension today (Friday).

Walker has been a member of the London Police Department since June 1996. He’s been serving as the chief for about four years. During his absence, Major Derek House will be running the department. House has served on the city police force since May of 1995.

sbelzer@sentinel-echo.com

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