Naked truth


DeKalb Sheriff suspended by Gov. Deal



More than a month after his arrest for allegedly exposing his penis to an officer and then fleeing the scene, DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann has been suspended following an executive order signed by Gov. Nathan Deal.


The order, signed June 12, suspends Mann for 40 days and gives the authority to the Chief Judge of Superior Court of DeKalb County to appoint an interim sheriff to serve during Mann’s suspension.


A committee made up of of Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese, Newton County Sheriff Terry Norris and Attorney General Chris Carr investigated the incident on June 8 and made the suspension recommendation to Deal.


“The committee delivered to me its recommendation that, considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding his actions, Sheriff Jeffrey Mann be suspended for a period of 40 days,” Deal wrote in his executive order.


Mann issued a public apology through his attorney Noah Pines on May 12.


“I would like to deeply apologize to the citizens of DeKalb County for the unfavorable light my arrest has brought on this county, the dedicated men and women of the Sheriff’s Office and most importantly the citizens,” Mann wrote in a letter.


Mann also served a self-imposed suspension following his May 6 arrest in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.


Mann, along with his attorney, attempted to block Deal’s executive order to investigate the incident. Pines argued that because Mann was charged with city ordinance violations Deal did not have the authority to investigate under state law O.C.G.A. 15-16-26, which allows the governor to investigate pending criminal charges.


Pines also argued in a Fulton County Superior Court on May 31, that Mann was not serving in his official capacity as sheriff during the time of the arrest.  


“If someone is exposing himself in public, he has the capability of exposing himself [at the sheriff’s office] as the next likely step,” a lawyer with the attorney general’s office said in court.


Fulton County Superior Court Judge Eric Dunaway denied Pines’ request to stop the investigation.

“[The committee] will give a recommendation, but it’s not binding upon the governor. They will be making a non-binding recommendation. It’s in the nature of an investigation,” Dunaway said in court.


The Champion contacted Pine via email regarding a statement from his client June 13, but did not receive a response by press time.


Deal said the committee reviewed the incident report, received statements from the arresting officer and received statements from Mann and his counsel.


Mann is scheduled to appear in court July 7.

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