Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a 40-day suspension of DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann following an investigation into the sheriff’s May 6 arrest on public indecency and obstruction charges.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann.

The governor’s order was issued June 12 and takes effect June 13. An interim sheriff will be appointed by Chief Judge Courtney Johnson of DeKalb’s Superior Court, according to the order.

Mann was arrested by Atlanta Police after allegedly exposing himself at night in Piedmont Park and running from a police officer. Mann has said he is innocent.

Mann recently completed his own, self-imposed suspension, May 27 through June 4, for “conduct unbecoming” his office, while saying that self-punishment does not imply guilt.

Deal convened a commission on May 11 to investigate Mann’s arrest, consisting of state Attorney General Chris Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese. Mann opposed the investigation.

State law allows the governor to suspend a sheriff for up to 90 days with the recommendation of a commission. The law includes a provision for extending the suspension and ordering the Attorney General to begin a process of removing the sheriff from office, if evidence warrants it.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.