Former Simpson County Sheriff Chris Cline pleaded not guilty Monday to numerous drug-related criminal counts levied against him in Warren Circuit Court.
Wearing a neck brace, Cline, 45, of Franklin, used a walker to make his way toward the front of the courtroom to stand with his attorney, Alan Simpson of Bowling Green, and be arraigned by Warren Circuit Judge Steve Wilson.
A Warren County grand jury indicted Cline on 41 counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, false statement or forgery and one count of first-degree official misconduct. The grand jury heard testimony from Detective Scott Hammond of Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations West Branch.
Cline was booked into Warren County Regional Jail on Friday and spent a little more than an hour in custody before a $25,000 cash bond was posted for his release.
The indictment accuses the former sheriff of fraudulently obtaining the controlled substances in Warren and Simpson counties by misrepresenting or withholding information from a medical practitioner.
The offenses alleged against Cline began Dec. 7, 2011, and continued through Dec. 13, 2013, when Cline is said to have used his sheriff’s vehicle to drive from Simpson County to Warren County to fill out a prescription, resulting in the official misconduct charge.
Cline submitted his letter of resignation Dec. 30 to Simpson County Judge-Executive Jim Henderson, citing medical reasons as his cause for leaving.
Simpson said Cline has suffered a number of injuries on the job dating back to his time with the Kentucky State Police and has a number of medical problems dating back as far as birth and is under active doctor’s care.
Cline was faced with another surgery when he decided to step down, Simpson said shortly after Cline was indicted.
Cline is scheduled to be in court April 14 for a pretrial conference.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation initiated the probe into the former sheriff, with assistance from KSP DE/SI West and the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force.