Paulding County DA suspended by Georgia governor

Donald Richard "Dick" Donovan (Paulding County Sheriff's Office)

Paulding County District Attorney Donald Richard "Dick" Donovan was suspended on Wednesday, two days after he turned himself into authorities on four felony charges including bribery and making false statements. Donovan was indicted last week by a grand jury.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued the executive order on Wednesday removing Donovan from office until his pending charges are adjudicated. Donovan had already voluntarily stepped aside following his indictment last week, but the order made it official.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said Donovan sought to drop criminal charges against a client of the Cedartown Municipal Court prosecutor to curry favor to have charges dropped for one of his employees with whom he said he desired a sexual relationship. Carr said the dropping of those criminal charges was a bribe.

The indictments also state Donovan made false statements in a sworn affidavit when asked if he "wanted to have sex with this same employee of his office and denied describing fantasies regarding his desire to be physical with this employee."

In addition to the bribery and false swearing charges, Donovan faces two counts of violation of oath by a public officer.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation began investigating the case after the district attorney’s office employee came forward with allegations Donovan sexually harassed her.

Donovan was released just a little more than an hour after he turned himself in on a cash bond of $2,950.

If convicted on all counts, Donovan could serve up to 35 years in prison and pay up to $206,000 in fines.

Donovan has been the district attorney in Paulding County since 2010.

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