DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Governor Nathan Deal issued a new executive order Tuesday that broadens the scope of the investigation into the May 6 arrest of DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann.
On May 11, Governor Deal tapped Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese to serve on the investigating committee. The following day, Mann's attorney, Noah Pines, claimed the governor did not have the authority to set up the committee citing a difference between "local ordinances" and "criminal charges."
Atlanta police charged Sheriff Mann with indecency and obstruction after an officer said he saw Mann exposing himself in the area of Piedmont Park known for sexual activity after dark. The APD officer said Mann, 53, ran for a quarter of a mile before he surrendered.
The new order references “alleged misconduct in office and alleged incapacity of the sheriff to perform the functions of his office” as areas that are under the Governor's authority.
Attorney Jackie Patterson, who is not affiliated with this case, said the committee will scrutinize the allegations and may look into other issues that could impede Mann's ability to continue to serve as sheriff.
"The committee will do a complete investigation of the criminal acts. If they determine he can no longer perform his duties, they will recommend governor suspend Mann and that can suspension can last up to 90 days or result in the governor asking the District Attorney to petition for removal," said Patterson.
The committee now has another 30 days to recommend whether Mann should be suspended from office.