Forsyth Co. sheriff at center of controversial 911 call

by: Aaron Diamant Updated:

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - A metro Atlanta sheriff is at the center of a controversial 911 call. Channel 2 Action News has uncovered dramatic new details about what may have caused him to collapse.

Forsyth County resident Paula Olsen called 911 in January after she found Sheriff Ted Paxton passed out in her home with her baby inside.

Rumors about the incident have been flying around the county for weeks. Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant made several open records requests to get to the bottom of it.

In the 911 call, Olsen refused to identify Paxton. Olsen told the operator the man who was unconscious in her front doorway had been babysitting for her.

“I was out, and he was keeping the baby, and he drank a lot,” she said.

As the recording continued, Paxton woke up.

“I just had too much to drink, OK?” he told Olsen.

She replied, “Well, they're here to help. You're scaring me.”

Despite the ordeal, Forsyth County Fire Department documents and the private ambulance company's documents say "no emergency" and "no patient found."

Paxton turned down Diamant's repeated requests for an interview to clear things up, but emailed a statement saying, "I was suffering from a blood sugar imbalance, which caused the event."

An internal affairs investigation by the Forsyth County Fire Department found Paxton did not receive special treatment. However, a first responder told investigators Paxton seemed "agitated" and admitted to drinking "a lot." In his statement to investigators, the first responder added Paxton told him, "Go ahead and tell all the papers, 'your sheriff is drunk.'"

Forsyth County leaders are debating their next move.

"All I can tell you is the report says what it says," said Forsyth County Attorney Ken Jarrard. "Given that it's a personnel matter involving the county, I have to defer any further comment."

Forsyth County Manager Doug Derrer is now reviewing the case.

Meanwhile, Paxton is up for re-election. Through a series of recent statements, he called all the controversy over the 911 call politically motivated by those who want to ruin his reputation and derail his campaign.

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