A Bulloch County Sheriff’s dispatcher resigned this week after allegations she smoked marijuana at a party hosted by a Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputy and another deputy facing accusations of smoking marijuana will be fired if she does not resign.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bill Black would not identify the dispatcher and deputy, even when the Statesboro Herald asked him to confirm the names of the two female employees. Black did confirm the two resignation requests.
“I'm not commenting about specific employees or specific actions of employees at this time,” he said in an emailed response to the Herald Wednesday.
Black said the party, reportedly held Saturday, took place at Deputy Julie Daughtry’s home. There were reportedly several Sheriff’s Office employees at the party, but as of Wednesday, only two had been asked to resign. An internal affairs investigation is ongoing, Black said.
“Early in this investigation it was determined that at least two employees had committed policy violations that warranted termination… we did receive a report of a civilian employee (off duty) smoking marijuana inside a vehicle outside of Deputy Daughtry's house. This was observed by a civilian who did not file an official complaint but told another employee.”
When asked about other allegations of criminal activity, Black said “At that point (when the investigation began) there was not enough evidence to initiate a criminal prosecution but that portion of the investigation is continuing. At that time the two employees were told they were going to be immediately terminated, and that if they resigned it would be reported to P.O.S.T. (Peace Officers Training and Standards) as a resignation in lieu of termination, which P.O.S.T. normally views the same as a termination in regards to certification status.”
The dispatcher resigned immediately, but the deputy “has not provided a letter of resignation at this point (as of Wednesday afternoon). That employee will be terminated if a resignation is not proffered.”
There are no criminal charges at this time, he added. “As you know the standard for a conduct violation is a much lower bar than the evidence needed for an arrest.”
Black did not say how long the internal affairs investigation will take or whether more Sheriff’s Office employees are under scrutiny.
“Once we've completed that investigation we will turn over a copy of the case file to the District Attorney's Office for review. At that time we plan to issue a press release. Of course, if the District Attorney's Office opts not to prosecute then the entire file is subject to the open records act immediately.”
Black also did not comment on specific questions about allegations that an employee, under age 21 and a past BCSO Explorer member, attended the party and was drinking.
“I cannot confirm anything about underage consumption of alcohol,” he told the Herald. “I wouldn't be shocked to know that there was consumption of alcohol at a party but I can't confirm who was drinking or not drinking.”
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.