Georgia police regulators have opened an investigation into DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann’s arrest over the weekend on charges he exposed himself and ran from authorities.
Mann, who has called the allegations a misunderstanding, plans to continue doing his job, said his attorney, Noah Pines. But Mann didn’t report to his office at the DeKalb Jail on Monday after his arrest.
“Sheriff Mann will continue to run the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office at the level of excellence it is known for and in keeping with what the citizens of DeKalb County expect and deserve,” Pines wrote in an email. “He asks that you respect that this is a personal matter, which should have no bearing on the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office and its staff.”
Mann was re-elected in November and can’t easily be removed from office.
But Georgia law allows the governor to convene a panel of two sheriffs and the state attorney general to investigate the allegations and recommend whether he should be suspended.
In addition, the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council can suspend or revoke an officer’s certification if it finds he engaged in unprofessional conduct. Certification from the council is required for sheriffs to hold office.
The council has opened an investigation of Mann but will wait to make a decision on the allegations until the criminal charges are resolved, said spokesman Ryan Powell.
Mann faces two misdemeanors, for indecency and obstruction after he ran from an Atlanta police officer who confronted him Saturday night.
Mann, an attorney, was first elected sheriff in a special election in 2014.
He was previously the chief deputy under Sheriff Thomas Brown since 2001.
Before Brown, every sheriff elected to a full term in DeKalb since 1965 had faced criminal charges.
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