A DeKalb County jail detention officer was fired and arrested Wednesday for providing marijuana to an inmate.
Detention officer Dianne Hill Simpson, 34, was accused of being a drug go-between for an inmate and an outside source, authorities said.
Simpson, who worked at the DeKalb jail for nearly three years, allegedly accepted money to get marijuana to inmate Naquan Hart.
She was charged with supplying contraband to inmates, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Simpson also was charged with felony violation of oath by a public officer.
Hart, who was booked into the jail in October on felony drug charges now faces a felony charge for using electronic communications to make a drug transaction.
Sheriff Thomas Brown admitted that his office has faced some challenges in the past nine months, with four detention officers and a sheriff's deputy being arrested and fired in that time. Another detention officer was fired, although not charged, during that time.
"I don't really have an answer for what would make them all of a sudden risk ruining their careers, and in some cases their families," Brown said.
Just last week, nine-year Sheriff's deputy Landria Odom was fired and arrested for harboring a wanted felon in her east Atlanta home. The 41-year-old Odom had previously been suspended for fraternizing with then-inmate Kirkland Smith, 28,
"That was some love-type crap," Brown said. In the other cases, "the common denominator for all of these is probably that they worked about three years or less in time."
Each of the incidents involved dealings with inmates, sheriff's spokeswoman Mikki Jones said.
Jones defended the record of the sheriff's office.
"We have more than 800 employees, where five people were arrested," she said. "That means another 861 were going about doing their jobs."
Brown said he made it point to publicize each incident, to show other sheriff's office employees that it doesn't pay to step out of line.
"We’re not ashamed to say if one of ours goes bad," Brown said. "We’re going to correct it, and correct it very quickly, and take the most severe path to punishment to set an example of the type of behavior that is unacceptable."
Simpson appeared before a DeKalb County magistrate court judge Wednesday and remains in the DeKalb County jail on $10,000 bond.
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.