DeKalb sheriffs: Getting in trouble with the law since 1951

DeKalb sheriffs: Getting in trouble with the law since 1951

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Through the years, criminal charges against DeKalb County Sheriffs haven't been uncommon. Here are a few of the sheriffs who’ve faced charges: J. Lamar Martin, left, Sidney Dorsey and Jeffrey Mann.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann is far from the first in his seat to face explosive accusations.

Long before he was caught allegedly exposing himself and scampering from a cop in Piedmont Park, it was all but a bonafide tradition for DeKalb sheriffs to get in trouble with the law.

The cases go back to the 1950s. Since then five sheriffs have faced charges ranging from theft to murder.

The highlights, compiled from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution archives:

Clem Jolly (in office January 1951 - January 1953): Jolly, then 75,  was accused of stealing money from the sheriff’s office. He said “politics” were behind the charges but admitted he used “bad judgement.” The prosecution suggested he’d paid the money back, but that didn’t make his behavior less fraudulent. The jury acquitted him in June 1951.

Robert Broome (Jan. 1, 1953 - Dec. 31, 1963): He wasn’t criminally charged but was sued for allegedly defrauding a “mentally incompetent” man in the purchase land at Rockbridge Road and Memorial Drive. The jury cleared him of wrongdoing in 1957.

J. Lamar Martin (Jan. 1, 1964 - Jan. 1, 1973): He was found guilty in 1972 of taking four bribes from a bail bondsman in a bond kickback scheme, totaling $12,905. He was fined the same amount. The jury could’ve sentenced him to 20 years in prison on each count, but elected against jail time.

Rayburn L. Bonner (Jan. 1, 1973 - Dec. 31, 1976): Bonner was indicted in 1976 on two counts of perjury and one count of mail fraud, accused of ripping off people by selling tickets to a fundraiser for a local hospital, when only 25 percent of the money was going to the hospital. The indictment was later thrown out. But he lost re-election and, in March 1977, was charged with murdering a 16-year-old boy he claimed was trying to break into his car. He was acquitted. 

Robert Patrick Jarvis (Jan. 1, 1977 - November 1995): The former Atlanta Braves pitcher pleaded guilty in 1999 to participating in a kickback scheme to get cash from food vendors, bonding companies and maintenance firms that had contracts with the county jail while he was sheriff. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Sidney Dorsey (January 1997 - December 2000): The most notorious sheriff in county history, Dorsey is serving life in prison for ordering the murder of political rival Derwin Brown. Brown had just beaten Dorsey for the sheriff’s post when, on Dec. 15, 2000, employees working for Dorsey killed him in his driveway. He fell to the ground clutching roses he’d brought for his wife. It was her birthday. 

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A judge decides to go ahead with the state's investigation into Jeffrey Mann

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