Sheriff Mann asks judge for acquittal

 

DSCF6519Through his attorney, suspended DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann said he should be acquitted of indecency and obstruction charges because he’s currently serving a state suspension.
Mann, who was arrested May 6 after he allegedly exposed himself to a police officer in Piedmont Park, is represented by his attorney Noah Pines.

Pines argued in court that Mann should be acquitted because Gov. Nathan Deal already suspended Mann for 40 days. Further punishment would be double jeopardy, Pines wrote in court documents.

Mann’s suspension ended July 24. Prior to his suspension, he issued a formal apology, but said his apology is not an admission of guilt.

Mann also served a self-suspension from May 27 to June 4.

“I am disciplining myself for ‘conduct unbecoming,’ specifically the provision defined as ‘engaging in conduct on or off duty which has a tendency to destroy public respect for the employee and/or the DKSO and/or destroy confidence in the operations of the County service is conduct unbecoming and is prohibited,’” Mann wrote in an internal memo obtained by The Champion. “This self-imposed discipline should not be construed to suggest or imply guilt of the Atlanta municipal ordinance charges alleged. I will continue to vigorously defend myself as it relates to the charges.”

Mann pled not guilty to the charges and his trial is scheduled for July 27 in Atlanta Municipal Court.

On June 12, Deal issued an executive order to suspend Mann. The suspension, which began June 13, was after a commission consisting of state Attorney General Chris Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese.

“The committee, in the course of its investigation, reviewed the incident report, received statements from the arresting officer and solicited and received statements from Sheriff Mann and his counsel and on June 8, 2017, the committee delivered to me its recommendation that….Sheriff Jeffrey Mann be suspended for a period of 40 days,” Deal’s executive order stated.

Deese said if Mann is found guilty of the charges against him, he should resign as sheriff. On May 9, the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, which Deese is the president of, wrote a letter to Deal requesting he appoint a committee to investigate the incident.

“As law enforcement officers, it’s mandatory that we’re held to a higher standard,” Deese said. “We have to be held to a higher standard and what he’s accused of definitely doesn’t meet that standard. Law enforcement isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle.”

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