Sheriff: Deputy had sex on duty before responding to call

Two Rockdale County deputies resigned instead of being terminated after two separate internal investigations into alleged misconduct, the Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Deputy Loretta Hernandez, 39, engaged in several incidents of sexual activity while on duty and admitted to delaying her response to a call, Cpl. Michael Camp said in an emailed statement. Hernandez resigned in lieu of termination during a disciplinary hearing, Camp said.

“In at least two of the incidents, she was in her full uniform and in her marked RCSO patrol unit in public,” Camp said. “In the third incident, Deputy Hernandez, while on duty, was outside of her patrol car inside a local business that was closed.”

Hernandez allegedly admitted that in one instance, she was being dispatched, but she delayed her response until the sexual act was complete, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She was first placed on administrative leave on April 25. The investigation concluded Thursday when she resigned, Camp said.

In the second case, Deputy Chad Stuarte, 26, of Covington, was arrested May 3 after a domestic violence call from his home, the Sheriff’s Office said. Stuarte was charged with battery and booked into the Newton County jail, Camp said. Stuarte was placed on administrative leave following his arrest.

An internal investigation determined that Stuarte failed to report a December incident involving his service weapon, Camp said.

“Deputy Stuarte admitted to intentionally discharging his department-issued service weapon into the floor of his home during an argument with his wife,” Camp said. “Deputy Stuarte failed to report this incident, as required by RCSO policy, and took additional steps to conceal the discharge.”

Stuarte also resigned Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“The circumstances that led to these resignations are truly embarrassing to each of the hardworking men and women of the RCSO who are out here making our county safe and keeping our jail secure,” Chief Deputy Scott Freeman said in an emailed statement. “The actions of both deputies are both disappointing and heartbreaking for them, their families and for all of the members of RCSO.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.