DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann pleads not guilty after Piedmont Park arrest

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DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann pleads not guilty after Piedmont Park arrest

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DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann, right, with his attorney, Noah Pines, pleaded not guilty to charges of indecency and obstruction in Atlanta Municipal Court on Friday, June 2. JOHN AMIS / AJC

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of indecency and obstruction after he allegedly exposed himself and ran from police.

Mann, who has said he will clear his name, appeared in Atlanta Municipal Court for a brief hearing to enter his plea. Judge Crystal Gaines scheduled his trial for July 7.

An attorney for the DeKalb County sheriff said he's likely to appeal a judge's ruling Wednesday.

“He’s not guilty, your honor,” said Mann’s attorney, Noah Pines.

Mann sat beside his attorney and didn’t speak during the court hearing.

Mann hasn’t provided an explanation for the events leading to his arrest near Piedmont Park on May 6. He apologized for putting the county in an “unfavorable light” and said he will continue doing the job he was re-elected to in November.

The hearing Friday was Mann’s second appearance in court this week. 

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Eric Dunaway on Wednesday rejected Mann’s effort to stop an investigation ordered by Gov. Nathan Deal. The governor could suspend Mann for up to 90 days, order an additional investigation by the GBI and request the DeKalb District Attorney initiate proceedings that could remove the sheriff from office.

Mann is serving a self-imposed one-week suspension this week. Mann issued the suspension for violating DeKalb Sheriff’s Office policies for officer conduct.

Mann wrote in a memo to his employees last week that he’s not admitting guilt, saying the penalty was for damaging the public’s trust.

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