Winder police cheating scandal ends with 4 resignations

by: Tony Thomas Updated:


WINDER, Ga. - A cheating scandal in a metro police department has ended with four officers resigning and another officer who was involved in the situation taking over the department.

The mayor in Winder says an investigation into improper testing procedures is complete. An outside investigator was brought in last month to look into allegations, and determined Police Chief Dennis Dorsey and some of his command staff were involved in altering results for two officers on a department fitness test.

Before the final report was completed Dorsey, Lt. Frank Farr, Sgt. Randy Michaels and Officer Joey Lovingwood resigned.

Dorsey, Farr and Major Jim Fullington had all been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Fullington was mentioned several times in the report but came out unscathed. The mayor brought him off suspension Monday night and named him the new interim chief.

"There are a lot of mixed emotions. Lost a lot of friends, a lot of coworkers that we have done and seen some things together with," Fullington told Channel 2 Gwinnett Bureau Chief Tony Thomas on Tuesday.

Winder Mayor David Maynard released this written statement after denying requests for an interview:

"Effective December 2, Major Jim Fullington has been returned to full active duty with the Winder Police Department. My review of all the information concerning the improper testing procedures led me to the conclusion that Major Fullington acted properly in response to the information he received. He is now acting interim Chief. The investigation is now closed. The City will immediately begin the process to hire a permanent Chief."

"We have to rebuild within the department and rebuild credibility within the department. We have to rebuild within the public," Fullington said. "Anytime something like this happens it affects everyone, no matter the size of the department."

The sudden changes in the department have caused concern in the community.

The owner of a downtown Winder restaurant put it simply.

"There's no answer, a lot of questions," said Chris Humble. "Everybody is just confused; a lot of people are worrying."

Another resident predicted the turmoil won't have much affect on the small Barrow County city.

"I don't think it will have much affect. Why not? We tend to do alright either way," said Jeff Wallace.

Thomas tried to reach former Police Chief Dorsey for comment, but his calls were not returned.