Ex-Gwinnett police spokesman charged with soliciting prostitute

A man who once served as a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department resigned in lieu of termination Tuesday after being charged with soliciting a prostitute in Barrow County.

The arrest is the second scandal involving Cpl. Brian Kelly to emerge in the past two years.

Kelly, who was reassigned to uniform patrol in 2010 after admitting he texted lewd photos of himself to a female intelligence analyst, was arrested on a pandering charge May 31 by the Barrow County Sheriff's Office.

Kelly never told the Barrow deputies that he was a police officer, nor did he report the arrest to his supervisor, said the Gwinnett department's current spokesman, Cpl. Jake Smith.

Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said Kelly responded to an ad placed by an undercover Barrow County investigator who was posing as a prostitute. He then arrived at a Winder motel where Smith alleges Kelly paid for a prostitution-related service.

Kelly served as the public face and voice of the agency for about two years. But that ended in late 2010 when he became involved in another indiscretion.

The department found evidence that Kelly, who is married, had sent lewd photos of himself to intelligence analyst Ja'net Sirles. The photos were taken at work, according to internal affairs records.

Sirles also claimed that she had sex with Kelly on his desk in his office while he was in uniform.

In a memo to Chief Charles Walters obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via an open records request, Kelly denied he ever had intercourse with Sirles. But he acknowledged exchanging lewd emails and photos with Sirles "at her request."

"I have and do admit that I willfully participated in conduct that was unbecoming my standing as a Gwinnett County Police Officer," Kelly wrote in the memo.

Sirles resigned in lieu of termination during the investigation.

Walters at the time said he chose not to fire Kelly but to suspend him for 80 hours and remove him from the public information officer position. Kelly, who was hired in 2003, had never been accused of misconduct before the 2010 incident.

Walters said he knows Kelly outside of work and that they were friends. Walters said he was disappointed by the recent events.

"He was given an opportunity and he made a mistake and he’s paid tremendously for it,” Walters said.