Donovan denied any wrongdoing. But weeks after White filed her complaint, Donovan gave a sworn statement speaking for just over two hours to a court reporter, who typed the affidavit.
“If it’s sexual harassment, it’s unlawful,” Donovan said in the affidavit. “But I am very, very reluctant to characterize it as sexual harassment because, again, I have never suggested we have sex, I have never offered to have sex with her, I have never said I wanted to have sex with her, I have never tried to have sex with her. I have never touched her anywhere that was inappropriate.”
But White recorded some conversations with Donovan and those audio tapes tell a different story, according to attorney Michael James Walker, who investigated the allegations. Walker provided the county with a 180-page report detailing his findings.
That June, White filed a Charge of Discrimination complaint with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity, stating that Donovan repeatedly told her he was in love with her and forced her to sit in lengthy private meetings with him. In October 2019, White filed a federal lawsuit alleging Donovan sexually harassed her and then retaliated when she reported it.
The federal filing came after White herself was arrested in Polk County on a shoplifting charge, according to Donovan’s affadavit. White called Donovan to tell him about the arrest and then called Polk County DA Jack Browning to ask that she be given a signature bond, Donovan said in the affadavit.
The charge against White was later dropped. Browning was not involved in any wrongdoing related to the case, according to prosecutors. The bribery charge, according to Donovan’s indictments, involved municipal court employees.
In January 2020, a $300,000 settlement was reached, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Records show state and Paulding taxpayers were responsible for the majority of the settlement.
The state of Georgia paid $220,000 of the $300,000 settlement, according to the agreement. Paulding County’s liability insurance policy chipped in $75,000, with the county paying a $25,000 deductible. Paulding paid the $5,000 balance in the settlement, which the county’s board of commissioners approved unanimously.
The Attorney General’s office will send a copy of the indictment to Gov. Brian Kemp, a spokeswoman said. Donovan’s salary was $128,000 in 2020, state records show.
Wednesday afternoon, state Sen. Jason Anavitarte, a freshman Republican from Dallas, called on Donovan to step down.
“Dick should resign,” Anavitarte posted on Twitter.