Sheriff Tries to Block Inquiry Into Indecent Exposure Case

ATLANTA (CN) – A metro Atlanta sheriff asked a Superior Court judge on Monday to block a state investigation into the lawman’s alleged criminal conduct following his arrest in early May.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann filed an emergency application for writ of possession in Fulton County Superior Court on May 22, claiming the state investigation deprives him of “basic due process rights and is therefore unconstitutional.”

The committee investigating Mann was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal and is comprised of state Attorney General Christopher Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese.

Mann, who was elected in a special election in 2014 and re-elected in 2016, was arrested in Piedmont Park in central Atlanta on May 6 for allegedly exposing himself, and was cited for two ordinance violations.

Mann has said the incident was a misunderstanding.

On May 11, Deal issued an executive order appointing the committee to investigate, and Mann asked him to withdraw the order the next day because he is not facing criminal charges.

Deal rescinded the order on May 16, only to issue a new one to not only investigate criminal allegations but also “alleged misconduct in office or alleged incapacity of the sheriff to perform the functions of his office.”

Again, Mann asked the governor to withdraw the order.

“It is clear that Georgia law does not consider a city ordinance violation to be a criminal charge because an ordinance violation is not a ‘violation of a statute of this state,’” the application says.

Mann’s counsel also says that Georgia law fails to define “alleged misconduct in office.”

The committee can recommend Mann’s suspension or refer the case for further investigation by other law enforcement agencies. Mann is seeking a hearing within five days of his filing.

Mann is represented by Noah Pines of Atlanta, who was not immediately available for comment.

Carr’s office did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

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