Newport Police Captain indicted

A Newport police captain has been indicted for theft over $10,000 after investigators say he was caught stealing money from his church in Greene County.

Capt. Steven Andrew Higginbotham, of Greeneville, was indicted Monday by a Greene County grand jury and arrested on Tuesday at a second place of employment.

Teddy Collingsworth, a criminal investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, said his investigation in the case started in June. During the investigation, he found that Higginbotham started stealing money from his church, O & S Chapel United Methodist Church in Greeneville, starting in August 2020.

“He was a treasurer of the church,” Collingsworth said. The thefts ended in June when the investigation started.

Collingsworth said he found that more than $16,000 had been stolen from the church during that time frame.

Newport Police Chief Maurice Shults said Higginbotham had been placed on administrative leave without pay on June 30.

He was an employee of the police department for 15 years.

“His employment right now is under consideration,” Shults said. “We should have an answer to his employment by the end of the business day.”

An arraignment for the police captain has been set for Sept. 10. He was booked into the Greene County jail on a $20,000 bond.