A state Division of Family and Children Services employee arrested Saturday on drug charges was not acting in an official capacity when she was found with drugs and a mentally disabled man in her car, state officials said.
Ericka Thompson, 38, remained in the Clayton County jail Sunday evening on a $25,000 bond for cocaine possession, marijuana possession, and driving under the influence charges, according to jail records.
But a DFACS spokeswoman early Sunday evening said Thompson’s responsibilities did not include transporting people in agency’s care.
“Ericka Tippins Thompson was not acting in an official capacity,” Ashley Fielding said in an email. “Ms. Thompson has been employed by the agency in Henry County as an Economic Support Specialist since November 2012. Those duties did not involve transporting clients or making home visits with clients of the agency, nor do they involve child welfare.”
Jonesboro police arrested Thompson on Saturday during a routine traffic stop, Police Chief Franklin Allen said.
Allen said Thompson was transporting a middle-aged man, who stays in a group home, to an unknown location when a patrol officer stopped her car for an expired tag and “smelled the odor of marijuana.”
A searched turned up small amounts of marijuana and cocaine, he said.
The mentally disabled man Thompson was caring for is safe and was taken back to his group home, according to Channel 2.
Thompson’s relationship to the man is unclear.
Fielding said DFACS officials will conduct an investigation before determining Thompson’s employment status.
“It is Department policy to maintain a drug-free workplace,” she said. “As it would any employee accused of illegal activity, the Department will review the accusations against Ms. Thompson and determine the appropriate response once it has had an opportunity to fully understand the facts.”