Personnel file: Rhea Co. school bus driver charged with DUI had previous write ups
UPDATE (July 22, 2019):
A former Rhea County school bus driver who pleaded guilty to DUI while dozens of children were on his bus will spend the minimum amount of time in jail. Read the latest at the link here.
UPDATE (Thursday afternoon, November 29):
NewsChannel 9 received the personnel file Thursday for Michael Ledbetter, the school bus driver charged in Rhea County Wednesday.
The file shows Ledbetter received two previous "write ups" for using "unacceptable language" on his bus route.
The warning letter says that if Ledbetter received another write up, he would be taken off the approved drivers list.
Ledbetter was officially fired from his position as a bus driver with the school system on Wednesday.
You can read the personnel file below:
NewsChannel 9's Kiley Thomas also uncovered he was charged with aggravated assault against teenagers in 2007. Those charges were dismissed by the District Attorney's Office.
We spoke to Shey Jackson, whose son is one of the people who complained about Ledbetter's profanity.
"It's a miracle no one was hurt," said Jackson.
The school confirms more than 50 children, from elementary to high school, rode on bus #41 under Ledbetter's care Wednesday.
An affidavit about the school bus incident later obtained by NewsChannel 9 says Ledbetter failed a field sobriety test, and officers also found a straw cut to a short length. Ledbetter told investigators the straw was what his wife used to snort cocaine, but that he had no idea why it was on him.
UPDATE (Thursday morning):
NewsChannel 9 has confirmed that Ledbetter made bond Thursday morning.
His arraignment hearing will take place on Friday, December 14th.
Depend on us to keep you posted.
UPDATE: Watch our Wednesday 6pm report below:
PREVIOUSLY (Wednesday, November 28):
The Rhea County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that a school bus driver was charged with DUI Wednesday morning.
The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. on Highway 27, just north of Rhea Medical Center.
Detective Rocky Potter says several students on the bus texted their parents that the driver was driving erratically. School bus dispatchers contacted the driver and asked him to pull over and wait for police.
Those officers gave the driver, Mike Ledbetter, a field sobriety test, which Potter says he failed.
Viewer Lisa Freeman shared photos of the scene with us, which show several law enforcement vehicles and a second bus that was picking up kids.