Emanuel sheriff denies rumors he's stepping down

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SWAINSBORO, Ga. – Emanuel County Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens said today rumors that he was stepping down from office are untrue.

“I don’t know how those vicious rumors started, but I know that a lot of people have heard about them,” he said during a telephone interview while driving back from a law enforcement training program outside Atlanta.

The sheriff, a former president and now member of the executive committee of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, said he doesn’t know who started the rumors or why they spread so quickly.

“It’s just been unbelievable,” he said.

Sheriff Stephens, who served as the county commission chairman for two years prior to being elected sheriff in 1984, said the rumors seemed to begin earlier this month.

“For the first time since becoming the sheriff, me and my family took a week vacation to Tybee Island,” Sheriff Stephens. Upon returning home, he said, he began to hear that he had health problems or that he was the focus of a criminal investigation.

“In the words of Mark Twain, rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Sheriff Stephens said.

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