FORSYTH, Ga. - A FOX 5 I-Team investigation prompted a local sheriff to ask state and federal authorities to look into allegations a deputy requested sexual favors from a suspect.
The case stemmed from graphic comments secretly recorded by the woman involved, a recording now in the hands of investigators.
Monroe County sheriff's deputy Bill Miller joined the department in April. He's been a Georgia cop since 2014. But it's his conversation with a woman named Ashlie Roberts that's now put his career in jeopardy:
Deputy Miller: "You can come over here. I'm not going to jump on you, I promise you."
Ashlie Roberts: "I mean, I'm good. I'm all right."
The conversation took place August 14 on a lonely dirt road in Monroe County. An off-duty cop wants a woman he recently arrested to do him a favor. The kind a cop is not supposed to have in mind.
Deputy Miller: "Not even a XXX-job?"
Ashlie Roberts: "No..."
Deputy Miller: "I'm just messing with you. I think you'd like it but..."
Ashlie Roberts: "No, I'm good."
Deputy Miller: "You probably would like it."
Ashlie Roberts: "I don't know about that."
Roberts provided a copy of the 19-minute recording to the FOX 5 I-Team.
"He thought he had that advantage on me," she told us.
In July, deputy Miller arrested the 34-year-old Union City woman for suspected drunk driving and possession of meth. She made bond and a few weeks later says she got a call from Miller to meet her in a parking lot late at night.
She told internal affairs investigators the same story she told us: Miller put her in his personal Dodge Ram pickup, handed her a Coors Light, and drove them to a dirt trail off Freeman Road.
"I didn't think I had to record anything until I got to that dirt road," she explained. "After I turned on that dirt road, that's when I knew something was fishy."
The recording starts with a conversation about her pending charges.
Deputy Miller: "I know how you can get rid of them."
Ashlie Roberts: "How is that?"
Deputy Miller: "All I got to do is talk to the D.A."
Ashlie Roberts: "Well, I know that's how YOU can get rid of them. But me on the other hand..."
Deputy Miller: "That's up to you."
Roberts says she started getting nervous.
"That should have made me think," she remembered. "Ain't no police in their right mind gonna ask for information this time of night."
The conversation then turned to a different subject. Blackmail.
Deputy Miller: "The whole reason I gave you that beer..."
Ashlie Roberts: "Uh-huh."
Deputy Miller: "...is leverage."
Ashlie Roberts. "Oh. What leverage would that be?"
Deputy Miller: "Well, I got another unit over there."
Ashlie Roberts: "So what are you trying to do? You trying to blackmail me or something?"
Deputy Miller: "Yeah."
Ashlie Roberts: "Oh, it ain't gonna work."
Deputy Miller: "It won't?"
Ashlie Roberts: "No."
Deputy Miller: "I'm just messing with you."
Roberts told us she didn't think Miller was "messing with her." She believed he was serious.
On the recording, Miller alternates between asking Roberts for the names of drug dealers... and asking her to at least lift up her shirt. After turning him down at least ten times, he agrees to drive her back to her vehicle.
Deputy Miller: "I really didn't want to have sex with you. I was just #### with you."
Ashlie Roberts: "I know."
Deputy Miller: "I mean, I would cause you're not a bad-looking girl. You just need to straighten your ass out."
But Roberts told us Miller picked the wrong girl.
"I'm not that type of girl," she insisted. "I'm a good girl. I just hang out with the wrong crowd."
On the recording, you can hear deputy Miller tell Roberts it's okay to toss that Coors Light out the passenger window before they left that dirt trail. The FOX 5 I-Team followed the path and searched the woods. Sure enough, we spotted a Coors Light can still in the paper bag with a receipt inside dated August 14. It also had the buyer's debit card number. We used a stick to pull out the receipt. Later, we gave investigators directions so they could recover the can and any fingerprints that might still be on it.
We approached deputy Miller as he came on duty last Friday night. He said he didn't remember Ashlie Roberts and denied offering to get her charges dropped in exchange for sexual favors. He refused our offer to let him hear the recording of the two of them.
Monroe County interim sheriff Al Shackelford placed Miller on paid administrative leave that same night. He says he called in the GBI and FBI to investigate.
"We are shocked and disappointed," Shackelford insisted. "Law enforcement should be held to a higher standard."
This week a Fulton County judge revoked Ashlie Robert's probation and sent her back to jail, citing her July DUI arrest.
"I did the crime. I'll do the time," she told us before she was taken back to jail. "Yes, I was pulled over for DUI and possession. Yes, I'll take that charge. I'm not doing nothing to jeopardize myself."