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Governor Perdue Forms Committee to Investigate the Conduct of the Fulton and Jenkins County Sheriffs

Thursday, July 1, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA , GA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the formation of a committee to investigate the conduct of Fulton County Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett and Jenkins County Sheriff James R. Womack according to O.C.G.A. 15-16-26. The Georgia Sheriffs' Association (GSA) sent letters recommending Governor Perdue investigate both sheriffs.

Along with Attorney General Thurbert Baker, two sheriffs that are members of GSA are required to participate on the committee. Governor Perdue has appointed by Executive Order DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas E. Brown and Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills to fill these positions. The committee is required to make a report of its investigation within 30 days.


Text of O.C.G.A 15-16-26


(a) Whenever the Governor determines that an investigation of a sheriff of this state should be made as a result of criminal charges, alleged misconduct in office, or alleged incapacity of the sheriff to perform the functions of his office, he shall appoint two sheriffs who are members of the Georgia Sheriffs´ Association who, along with the Attorney General, shall constitute a committee to conduct an investigation. Such sheriffs may be from any two counties in the state other than the county of the sheriff under investigation. The members of any such committee shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in connection with an investigation. The funds necessary to conduct an investigation shall come from the funds appropriated to the executive branch of state government.

(b) Any member of the committee shall be authorized to administer oaths to any witness before the committee. The committee shall make a report of its investigation to the Governor within 30 days from the date of the appointment of both sheriff members by the Governor.

(c) If the committee recommends the suspension of the sheriff, the Governor shall be authorized to suspend the sheriff for a period of up to 60 days. In any case where a sheriff has been suspended for 60 days, the Governor may extend the period of suspension for an additional 30 days. Upon such recommendation, the Governor shall also be authorized to request the district attorney of the county of the sheriff´s residence to bring a removal petition against the sheriff pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 15-16-10 and Code Section 15-6-82 based upon the evidence reported by the committee. In the event that the Governor determines that further investigation should be made, he may then order additional investigation by the committee, by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, by other law enforcement agencies of this state, or by any special committee appointed by the Governor for such purpose.

(d) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this Code section, the chief judge of the superior court of the county of the sheriff´s residence shall appoint a person who meets the qualifications for sheriffs pursuant to Code Section 15-16-1 to assume the duties and responsibilities of the office of sheriff during any period of suspension.

(e) Upon indictment for a felony, the provisions of Code Section 45-5-6 shall apply.

(f) The remedy provided by this Code section is intended to be cumulative of other remedies available on the subject and is not intended to repeal such remedies.




Associated Document(s):

pdf file Fulton.pdf
Georgia Sheriffs' Association letter regarding the Fulton County Sheriff
pdf file Jenkins_Sheriff.pdf
Georgia Sheriffs' Association letter regarding the Jenkins County Sheriff