A Gordon County jailer was fired and arrested after authorities discovered he stole about $6,000 worth of inmates’ bond money, the sheriff said.
The investigation into Sgt. Jonathan Lovins began earlier this month when officials discovered a discrepancy during a routine transfer of cash bonds from the sheriff’s office to the court system, Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said Tuesday in a news release.
The discrepancy involved a cash bond from a traffic offense, he said.
“This triggered an internal audit in which several other cash bonds were found to be missing,” Ralston said. “All of the missing cash bonds involved the same jail staff employee, Sergeant Jonathan Lovins.”
Each theft involved out-of-state inmates, authorities said.
Lovins was suspended from the department March 9 and the GBI was called in to investigate. On March, 20 agents executed a search warrant at Lovins’ Calhoun home and he was fired, the release said.
Lovins turned himself in Monday at the jail he once guarded after being charged with four felony counts of theft by taking and one felony count of violating his oath of office. He was released Monday evening after posting a $25,000 bond, records show.
Lovins had worked for the department since November 2016 and had no history of disciplinary issues, officials said.
“It is a shame that Mr. Lovins made the very bad decisions that led to his termination and arrest,” Ralston said. “No law enforcement agency can maintain the trust of the people they serve if misconduct is tolerated. Mr. Lovins violated a position of trust, and is being held accountable for his action.”
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