Former State Senator Pleads Guilty To Felony Theft

Former State Senator Pleads Guilty To Felony Theft

CREATED Feb 28, 2014

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Tenn. - Former state Senator and one-time Congressional candidate Eric Stewart has pleaded guilty to felony theft charges.

As part of the plea deal, Stewart was given two years supervised probation and ordered to pay $750 in restitution. The agreement was under judicial diversion, which means if he meets the requirements, he could have his record expunged.

In November, a grand jury in Franklin County indicted him for one count of theft of property and one count of a fraudulent insurance act.

Stewart owned the Stewart Insurance Agency in Winchester.

District Attorney Mike Taylor said Stewart allegedly sold a worker's comp policy to Don and Bonnie Plattenburg, but instead used the $750 for his personal use rather than for the policy. The couple owns a contracting company in Franklin County.

The indictment alleges the claims happened between November 22, 2009 and November 4, 2013.

Stewart, a Democrat, served as a state senator in the 14th district from 2008 to 2012. Prior to that, he served as a Franklin County commissioner.

He opted not to run for re-election in 2012, but instead mounted an unsuccessful campaign against incumbent U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais in the 4th Congressional District.

Since running for Congress, Stewart has been involved in nonprofit fundraising in the Franklin County area.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)