Paulding DA Donovan arrested on 4 felony charges

Paulding County District Attorney Donald "Dick" Donovan surrended Monday afternoon on four felony charges.

Credit: Paulding County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Paulding County Sheriff's Office

Paulding County District Attorney Donald "Dick" Donovan surrended Monday afternoon on four felony charges.

Paulding County District Attorney Dick Donovan surrendered Monday afternoon and was arrested on four felony charges, according to the county’s sheriff’s office.

The 75-year-old Donovan, who has served as DA since 2010, was indicted last week on charges of bribery, violation of oath by public officer and two counts of false swearing. The allegations stem from his relationship with a top female staff member.

A warrant was issued for his arrest Thursday, giving him a deadline of Tuesday at noon to turn himself in. Donovan was in custody shortly before 4:30 p.m. Monday, according to Sgt. Ashley Henson.

Donovan’s bond was set at $2,500 prior to his arrest, court documents show. He posted a cash bond and was released at 5:41 p.m., Henson said.

Following an investigation by the GBI, Attorney General Chris Carr’s office presented Donovan’s case to a Paulding grand jury. After the indictment, Carr’s office requested that an arrest warrant be issued for Donovan.

All three Paulding County Superior Court judges recused themselves, so the case was assigned to Judge Stephen Schuster. Schuster retired in December as a Cobb County Superior Court judge.

Donovan’s legal troubles began in 2019, when Jamie White, a victim advocate in the Paulding DA’s office, accused him of sexual harassment. In January 2020, a $300,000 settlement was reached in the civil matter. But according to the GBI, Donovan broke criminal laws when he gave a sworn affidavit regarding his relationship with White.

“Said accused denied ever having said that he wanted to have sex with Jamie White, contrary to the laws of said state, the good order, peace, and dignity thereof,” Donovan’s affidavit said.

But White provided audio tapes and written notes as evidence for an outside investigator hired by Paulding County.

Donovan has denied any wrongdoing. His attorney, Jimmy Berry, did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

Donovan could be suspended from his elected position if a committee appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp decides it’s necessary, according to Georgia law. Carr’s office has sent the indictment to Kemp’s office to appoint the review committee, a spokeswoman for the attorney general said.