DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann has suspended himself for one week for “conduct unbecoming” after he was arrested by Atlanta Police and charged with public indecency and fleeing an officer. The suspension will be effective May 27 through June 4.
In an internal memo sent to agency employees on May 24, Mann said that he expects the “highest professional standards” of Sheriff’s Office employees in public and private. By doing so, he must hold himself to the same code of conduct and that he “must be held to an even higher standard than it relates to our Code of Conduct policy and schedule of penalties.”
“I am disciplining myself for ‘conduct unbecoming,’ specifically the provision defined as ‘engaging in conduct on or off duty which has a tendency to destroy public respect for the employee and/or the DKSO and/or destroy confidence in the operations of the County service is conduct unbecoming and is prohibited,’” he stated in the memo obtained from the Sheriff’s Office.
“While the schedule of penalty for this infraction (first instance) is written counseling, in my case, I am imposing the maximum time of one week’s suspension,” he stated.
Mann stated in the memo that added that the self-imposed suspension does not suggest or imply guilt.
“I will continue to vigorously defend myself as it relates to the charges. However, the mere fact of placing myself in a position to be arrested is sufficient reason for this self-imposed discipline,” Mann stated.
“I cannot, in good faith, fail to take responsibility for the negative and unwanted criticism brought to this great agency and the county, and I apologize to each of you. You deserve a leader who takes responsibility for his actions,” Mann stated.
Mann stated he would also be donating the equivalent to one week’s pay to a charity or charities to be determined.
Mann was arrested late May 6 and charged with public indecency and obstruction after Atlanta Police said he exposed himself in Piedmont Park and then ran from a police officer. The incident occurred at about 11 p.m. in an area of the park “known for sexual acts after dark,” according to an Atlanta Police report.
Gov. Nathan Deal appointed a committee to investigate Mann’s charges that could lead to his suspension or removal from office. Mann’s attorney is asking the investigation be dropped.