DeKalb sheriff fights to keep certification

Jeff Mann has formally appealed to retain his law enforcement certification.

AUSTELL, Ga. — DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann has formally appealed to retain his law enforcement certification, nearly a year after his arrest in an Atlanta city park.

Jeff Mann headed into a Peace Officer Standards and Training Council appeals hearing Thursday afternoon with his defense attorney, Noah Pines.

Pines represented Mann in his case involving a late-night Piedmont Park arrest last May.

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The Sheriff ran a quarter mile from an Atlanta Police officer after the officer said Mann exposed himself in the park. After a series of events, including state and self-suspensions, a guilty plea to obstruction and prohibited conduct charges and a ban from Atlanta City Parks, POST stepped in.

The Council voted to revoke Mann’s certification last September. The decision was directly related to Mann running from police during his arrest.

Mann needs to retain the certification to remain in office.

After months of continuance requests due to Pines’s schedule, the closed-door appeals hearing took place in at POST Headquarters in Austell.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr spoke exclusively with Mann, who had little to say heading into the meeting.

“Can we talk about what you’ll be requesting today?” Carr asked Mann.

"No, we can’t,” Mann answered.

“Afterwards?” Carr asked.

“No.  You can speak to my attorney. You can check with him.

Pines declined to comment on the hearing about 15 minutes ahead of Mann’s arrival.

“Not today,” Pines said.

Mann also declined to comment following an hour-long process, driving away from Carr when she asked if he’d address his constituents.

CASE FAR FROM OVER

POST officials would not comment on the hearing because it was not open to the public.

According to their process, POST can do one of three things as a result of arguments heard in the hearing take no action, vote on a recommendation to issue another sanction or uphold this sanction to revoke Mann’s certification.

If the latter occurs, Mann can appeal to the Office of State Administrative Hearings, known as OSAH.

An Administrative Law Judge would oversee that hearing, and the state attorney would represent POST.

If it got to this point, and Mann did not agree with that judge, the case could head to Superior Court.

Mann was elected in November 2016. If he lost the office through this process, a special election would be held.