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Hendersonville man charged with indecent liberties

Michael McGrade Sr. Michael McGrade Sr.

A 63-year-old Hendersonville man who had worked as a school crossing guard in the city was charged with a felony count of indecent liberties with a child in December for alleged offenses over a four-year-period with a child under 16, arrest records show.

Michael Edward "Grady" McGrade Sr., of West Lake Avenue, remained jailed on Monday under a $20,000 bond in the Henderson County Detention Center after his arrest on Dec. 21, according to the sheriff's office. 

McGrade was well-known as a volunteer with the Hendersonville High School band and along with his wife had served as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts for many years. The charges did not involve any incidents with either the band or in scouting, Hendersonville police Lt. Bruce Darrah said.

"We're aware of all that," he said. "There were no allegations with those organizations or any of the kids." Asked if the investigation was ongoing, Darrah, who is the charging detective in the case, said it was not. "There's not any more details. It's a self-contained case."

HHS principal Bobby Wilkins said he was unaware of any investigation into McGrade's volunteer service with the band, nor had he heard of any allegations of anything improper. Joshua Christ, the executive director of the Daniel Boone Council of Scouting USA, which the Boy Scouts of America is now called, did not respond on Monday to a phone call seeking comment.

Working as an activity bus driver, band truck driver, chaperone and instrument loader, Grady was a popular volunteer with the HHS concert, jazz and marching bands for more than 10 years, particularly during Fran Shelton's tenure as band director.

An arrest warrant issued on Dec. 18 described the date of offense as Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 11, 2020, but did not give an address.

Retired from General Electric, McGrade had worked as a school crossing guard for the city police department starting in June 2018. He was paid $25 an hour for one hour per day until Dec. 18, when he was placed on "investigatory suspension without pay," according to city personnel records.