A former Leadwood officer and more recently a Madison County deputy appeared in court Thursday afternoon to waive his preliminary hearing. The Baily Journal of Park Hills reports 31-year old Eric Smith, of Perry County, waived his right to the hearing and asked to have a public defender removed from his case. He indicated he intends to hire a private attorney. His case was bound over and scheduled at the circuit court level on Jan. 15 for an arraignment. Smith is charged with felony stealing, accused of stealing $40,000 from a woman. He is out on bond. Smith is accused of stealing $40,000 from a woman while he was off duty in plain clothes. During the investigation, $26,875 in cash was found in Smith’s home. He admitted to stealing the money from the woman. This isn’t the first time Smith has faced felony stealing charges while being a commissioned law enforcement officer. When he was working at Leadwood Police Department he was charged in Perry County with stealing and stealing by deceit, both Class C felonies. His one-day trial in that instance was held in Cape Girardeau in August of 2013 on a change of venue. The judge found him not guilty of the charges.