Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal suspended DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann on Monday, following an investigation into the indecent exposure charges that Mann faced after allegedly exposing himself to a police officer in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.
According to WXIA-TV, Deal had appointed a committee—made up of state Attorney General Chris Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese—to look into the charges. The committee wrapped up its investigation last Thursday, handing over its findings and recommendation to the governor’s office. The governor in turn decided to follow through with the given recommendation and suspend Mann for 40 days, effective Tuesday.
Mann had recently finished a self-imposed suspension, although he insisted that the punishment was not an admission of guilt to violating Atlanta’s ordinances regarding indecency or obstruction.
“I cannot ask my employees to abide by a code of conduct unless I am willing to subject myself to it as well,” Mann wrote in an email to employees last month adressing the issue. “In fact, I must be held to an even higher standard.”
On May 6, Mann was arrested in Piedmont Park after an Atlanta police officer saw him in an area of the park that officials say is known for sexual activity after dark, the news station notes. When the officer spotted him, Mann allegedly began to touch himself through his pants while walking toward the officer. The police report that Mann exposed himself to the officer and began to make inappropriate gestures. The officer said that he hid behind a tree so that Mann would not see the reflective tape from his police bicycle.
As Mann continued to approach the officer, the officer confronted the sheriff by shining his flashlight and identifying himself as an officer. Mann took off running, authorities said, but the officer gave chase and Mann eventually surrendered and was taken into custody.
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