Theft charges against former hospital employee dropped

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, July 25, 2013

Theft charges against a former Chilton Medical Center employee have been dismissed.

Scott Cheek was arrested in Chilton County in August 2012 and charged with stealing hospital equipment from a hospital in Hope, Ark. and taking it to the Clanton hospital, which has since closed.

Danny Crabtree, the attorney representing Cheek in the case, said Cheek was doing as instructed by superiors when he moved the equipment–and that both hospitals were under the same ownership at the time.

“This case never had any merit from the start,” Crabtree said. “He only did it because the owners of those two hospitals told him to move those beds. He was just an employee of the hospital.”

Crabtree said he thought Cheek’s last name—he was the nephew of a former owner of the hospitals who has since been imprisoned for tax evasion—made him a target.

“Two others helped, and he was the only one charged,” Crabtree said. “I think the mere fact that his last name was Cheek, people assumed he had done something wrong.

Hempstead County (Ark.) Prosecutor Christi McQueen couldn’t be reached for comment. The charges could be revisited within a year.

The case was presided over by Judge Randal Wright in Hempstead County Circuit Court. The trial was originally scheduled to begin July 29.