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Fired Forsyth County deputy placed back on administrative leave by civil service board

The Forsyth County Civil Service Board unanimously voted Thursday to reinstate a former Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was fired over allegations of domestic violence.

Tom McCullagh, 39, was placed back on administrative leave with the sheriff’s office following the decision, according to spokeswoman Stacie Miller, and “is not acting in any official capacity for the agency,” she said.

The FCSO said a “technical error made by our legal counsel” during the agency’s presentation at the July 9 meeting impacted the outcome.

The error was in reference to a list of alleged policy violations by McCullagh, Miller said.

“While we respect and appreciate the service of the Forsyth County Civil Service Board, we respectfully disagree with their findings and likewise recognize a technical error made by our legal counsel and our own staff in the presentation to the Civil Service Board,” the FCSO said in a statement. “The agency is currently reviewing legal remedies to correct the error and additional action is anticipated.”

McCullagh was charged with battery family violence after he committed “an act of domestic violence” against his wife during an incident at the couple’s residence in North Forsyth on Nov. 29, 2019, according to authorities.

McCullagh was placed on administrative leave while the FCSO’s Major Crimes Unit and Office of Professional Standards investigated the incident. They eventually determined that there was probable cause to arrest McCullagh, authorities said.

McCullagh, who spent 16 years with the FCSO, was subsequently fired.

AJ Richman, McCullagh’s attorney, denied the charges at the time, stating that McCullagh is a highly decorated officer with two Medals of Valor from the agency. Richman could not be reached for comment.

McCullagh is still pending trial over the incident, the FCSO said.