ATLANTA - Governor Nathan Deal has appointed an investigative committee following the arrest of the DeKalb County Sheriff.
Atlanta police charged Sheriff Jeffrey Mann with indecency and obstruction of an officer for allegedly exposing himself in an area of Piedmont Park and for running a quarter of a mile from the officer who spotted him.
According to the police report, Mann was arrested near Piedmont Park just after 11 p.m. on Saturday night in an area of the park known for sexual activity after dark. He was booked into the city jail at 1:42 a.m. and bonded out exactly one hour later on a $1,146 bond, according to officials at the Atlanta City Detention Center.
The police report states Mann allegedly fled from the officer who discovered him exposing himself and a foot chase followed. According to the police report, Mann stopped to tie his shoes during the chase, then continued running once the arresting officer got closer. According to the officer, Mann eventually stopped running after a quarter of a mile foot chase that covered 9th Street, 10th Street and Argonne Ave. The officer said he complied, then got on the ground and followed the arresting officer's commands.
Governor Deal has agreed to set up an investigative committee that will look into the allegations against Mann after Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese sent a letter to him on behalf of the Georgia Sheriff's Association. In the letter, Sheriff Deese asked the governor to immediately appoint a committee of two sheriffs and the attorney general to investigate the pending criminal charges against Mann. Wednesday, Sheriff Deese told FOX 5's Portia Bruner he was concerned about the allegation that Mann refused to obey a lawful command by running from the officer after the Atlanta police patrolman yelled “Stop!” and identified himself as a law enforcement officer.
Governor Deal released his executive order appointing the committee on Thursday. The investigative committee will be made up of Attorney General Chris Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Sheriff Terry Deese.
The committee has to turn in its report to the governor’s office within 30 days.
Mann, the 49th sheriff of DeKalb County, has been with the office for ten years, according to their website. A former member of the U.S. Air Force, Mann also served an assistant county attorney in DeKalb County.
He was the Chief Deputy for several years for Sheriff Thomas Brown. He was elected in 2014 to fill Brown's vacant seat after Brown stepped down to run for Congress. In November 2016, he was elected to serve his first full 4-year term in office.
Sheriff Mann issued a statement late Monday afternoon insisting he will continue to serve the citizens of DeKalb County as sheriff, but added he will not comment on the allegations that he exposed himself and ran from a police officer.
Legal experts told FOX 5 News the sheriff is not subject to removal from office by the governor since he was charged only with misdemeanors and no felonies.
Mann will make his next court appearance on June 2.