Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has suspended a Sheriff from office following charges he received after reportedly being caught by a cop exposing his penis in a park.
On Monday, DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann was suspended for 40 days from office with pay in compliance with a recommendation by an investigatory committee made up of two sheriffs and Attorney General Chris Carr.
Mann was charged with indecency and obstruction following a May 6 arrest in which an Atlanta cop said he exposed his penis to him in Piedmont Park and then ran away.
According to the police report, Mann exposed himself and began walking toward the officer in a section of the park known explicitly for “sexual acts after dark.”
The report stated that the cop pointed his flashlight at Mann and identified himself as a police officer before ordering him to stop. In response, Mann took off running and lead the cop on a quarter-mile chase into traffic.
“I allowed the male to get approximately 7 to 10 feet from me before I used my flashlight to shine it on the male. The male immediately fled on foot. I ran behind the male while yelling, ‘Police. Stop!’” the officer said in the report.
“I continued to watch the male run while I waited to cross 10th Street and its traffic near Argonne Street. The male had stopped to tie his shoes. I got approximately 10 to 15 feet from the male before he noticed my approach. The male immediately stopped fixing his shoes and started running again.”
According to the report, Mann finally surrendered as he approached 9th street when he noticed the officer was gaining ground on him. He was arrested and taken to the Atlanta City Detention Center.
After bonding out of jail, Mann maintained that he would clear his name and vindicate himself. He said in a statement that he was “working with City of Atlanta to clear these charges.”
A Democrat that defeated Republican business owner Harold Dennis in the November election for sheriff, Mann is now the laughing stock of his community.
“The man is definitely unfit for his office,” said Brad Edmond, a witness of Mann’s arrest. “He has betrayed everyone, including the people who look up to him and respect him. But, what a joke.”
DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester said Mann has always been “professional” and “appropriate,” but the news of his arrest had overarching ramifications for the reputation of the county.
“It is embarrassing. It’s certainly not a good headline for DeKalb County,” Jester said. “Now we have this, so I don’t know. We’ll see where this takes us.”
Mann is set to appear in Atlanta Municipal Court on July 7 for trial. He’s also being investigated by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
The Council could revoke or suspend his law enforcement license. If that occurs he would be removed from office completely.
Georgia law stipulates that Gov. Deal has the power to suspend Mann up to 60 days and provides that the suspension may then be extended by another 30 days.
Deal may also order another investigation by the GBI into Mann’s arrest and call for a district attorney to initiate proceedings to remove him from office.