Sheriff on the defense over 'paying for sex' comment

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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JONESBORO, Ga. —

The Clayton County Sheriff is responding to one of his opponent's claims he shouldn't lead prostitution stings since he once offered to pay for sex.

"I think it's very hypocritical," Tina Daniel told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

Daniel made that statement because of what she said Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said in an audio-taped Clayton County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs interview in 2001.

On a version of the audio that's on the Internet, the sheriff's voice is audible.

"I don't think I've ever spent a whole lot of money for sex or 100 bucks every weekend. Not a lot of money," he said on the tape.

Kimbrough admits it's his voice, but not the whole story.

Kimbrough was recorded when he was an investigator 11 years ago and the Sheriff's Office was looking into whether he was harassing a female employee.

A voice on the tape says, "She has said that there was an offer of money for sex."

The investigation found that the sheriff never harassed the employee.

Daniel said the audio is on YouTube and not what the county needs.

"When I saw it I was just as flabbergasted as anybody," Daniel said.

Kimbrough said what's on the Internet is spliced and taken out of context to make him look bad

Jones asked to hear the unedited tape.

"I been dying for you to hear the real tape," Kimbrough told Jones.

As they listened, the tape stopped right before it got to the part about paying for sex.

Apparently there's a second tape. Jones asked the sheriff where it was.

"I have no idea," Kimbrough said.

The sheriff admits he did offer to pay the corrections officer for sex -- they once dated-- but he said he didn't mean it literally.

"There was a conversation where there were words to that affect uttered but both parties to the conversation understood that as a joke," Kimbrough said.

He likened his comment to saying you'd cut off your arm for something but wouldn't really do it.

Kimbrough called Daniel irresponsible and reckless for bringing up something that didn't happen 11 years ago.

Kimbrough said what she's doing is politics at its worst.

Daniel said she's just reacting to what Kimbrough said in his own words -- that he has offered to pay for sex.

"You've admitted that you're just as guilty as the same people that you arrested," Daniel said.

"I've never offered to pay anyone for sex," Kimbrough said.