Probation officer maintains innocence amid bribe accusations

by: Mark Winne Updated:

MORROW, Ga.,None - The allegations against a fired state officer range from lying to offering clean drug screens to probationer in return for sex, money or clothing.

But Channel 2's Mark Winne learned about them in an unusual way: The officer himself told him.

Bruce Brown said now, financially he's about as broke as some of the convicted criminals he used to check up on, for crimes ranging from shoplifting to murder.

Brown said if he had done what he was accused of he should be arrested too. But, he said he didn't and he hasn't been.

"They accused you of being a crook when you're supposed to be keepin' an eye on the crooks? I know. What happens inside? It tore me apart. And you know, it has me still puzzled till today," Brown told Winne.

Brown said he's asking the Georgia Department of Corrections to make a big correction and undo his firing for serious allegations he said were made by convicted felons.

"I didn't do anything wrong at all. I think I'm just a victim and there's nothing I can do about it. That's why I called you. Cause I need a voice," Brown said.

Brown told Winne he's a Gulf War combat veteran who was with corrections 17 years until he was fired from his job as a probation surveillance officer at the Morrow Probation Office Sept. 21.

"I felt empty, lost, frightened," Brown said. "Bill collectors are ringing my phone constantly."

A corrections document addressed to Brown said "you denied everything. You stated that you never asked probationers to give you money for clean drug screens."

"I was told that I approached female probationers for sex. If they had sex with me, I'd let them skip the drug screen," Brown said

The document also said Brown admitted lying.

"I did not lie," he said. Brown told Winne he even passed a polygraph test to prove he wasn't lying.

Brown said he is also accused of accepting clothes as a bribe from a probationer who owned a clothes store. Brown said he was accused of telling an investigator he would've accepted them if delivered for the office donation closet he said.

"Honestly, I want my job back and I'll go in there with no harsh remarks against no one. I'll go back to work and do what I used to do. It's a part of me," Brown said.

A corrections spokeswoman said they stand by the action that was taken.

The document said "there were also uncorroborated reports of misdeeds and quid pro quos with probationers."

Again, Brown denies wrongdoing.

The document also said, "the burden of proof in employment cases is simply more likely than not."