Dekalb County, Georgia – As previously reported, Dekalb Sheriff was arrested after allegations of indecent exposure and obstruction of justice were placed against him on Sunday. The Governor of Georgia issued an executive action essentially forming an investigative panel.
The panel’s sole purpose will be to determine if Mann has violated the role of his office or his POST certification. The panel consists of two sheriffs among others.
Speaking through his attorney, Mann stated he urged the governor to reconsider this executive action citing “these are not criminal charges” therefor the panel is not appropriate. The charges in questions are misdemeanor charges in violation of Atlanta ordinances, rather than state code warranting “criminal charges”. Click the link for the executive order from the Governor's office.
Mann has maintained his innocence and stated this “is a misunderstanding”. He also indicated he trusts the judicial system and his presumption of innocence.
The panel has 30 days to complete its investigation and provide a recommendation. The panel could take no action or recommend suspension up to 90 days and his POST certification revoked. Additionally, the Georgia’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Council have opened an investigation and it could take over a year to produce its finding and results. The Georgia’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Council certify law enforcement officials and also remove said certifications.
Jeff Mann has been certified for a decade and has no blemishes or outstanding allegations, prior to this incident, on his record.
Mann has been instructed, by his attorney, to make no public statement and has not been seen in public since these allegations were made public.
Editors Note: Dekalb does not have the best history in terms of behavior of elected officials, including previous Sheriffs. Although these may not be legally considered “breaking the law”, he is still a law enforcement officer and is bound to a code of conduct both personally and professionally. In many counties and departments across this nation, good officers have been forced to resign or been terminated for policy violations or questionable personal choices, not part of breaking a regulation, oath, local ordinance or law. Many have sent his passionate messages both supporting the Sheriff and calling for his resignation. A leader is simply held to a higher standard. Many Sheriffs, particular Republicans, would have already resigned and saved the hassle and bad press. In typical fashion of many democrats, Mann has made it very clear the officer was wrong, he is innocent, and come hell or high water, he will not quit. Perhaps the findings from the POST will remove his certification thereby removing his eligibility to be Sheriff. A special election would then be called, and likely another loyal member of the Dekalb Democrats will be elected.
Channel : NetNewsJournalsGeorgia NetNewsCatster: John Thompson