DeKalb sheriff returns to work following state suspension

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has confirmed DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann returned to work Monday morning, following a 40-day governor-ordered suspension.

The suspension was linked to findings from an investigation into Mann’s arrest on May 6 in Piedmont Park.

Mann is charged with indecency and obstruction for exposing himself in Piedmont Park before running from an Atlanta Police Department bicycle officer.

Mann’s case is still pending in Atlanta Municipal Court, where his attorney has entered a motion to dismiss the case based on double jeopardy.

Mann is asking the court to consider his suspension, which was ordered by Gov. Deal, as punishment served in the case.

As of Friday, Judge Crystal Gaines had not yet made a ruling on the case. The case is scheduled to be heard Thursday afternoon, following a reset earlier this month.

Since June 13, Capt. Ruth Stringer has served as interim sheriff of DeKalb County.


Her appointment was made by a DeKalb County Superior Court judge following the governor’s executive order.

That appointment also followed a self-imposed suspension in late May that Mann announced to his staff via an internal memo.

Voter reaction

Some DeKalb voters seemed indifferent to news of Mann’s return Monday.

“When you have that much power, you can kind of do what you want to do,” said Niya Johnson. “That’s how it’s working nowadays in today’s society, unfortunately.”

Johnson never expected Mann’s career to suffer from the incident.

“He can do whatever he wants and still go back to work,” she said. “That’s how that works.”

Kailand Davis’s only problem with the case is Mann’s request for it to be dismissed from Atlanta Municipal Court.

“Nah, see, that’s him trying to get above the law. He needs to face charges,” said Davis. “Everyone gets suspended for doing something at work, but this is a criminal offense he committed so he should trialed (be tried) just like anyone else.”

DeKalb resident Lisa Keys said she found it difficult to explain the situation to her children.

“What if you have your kids there at the park and they see something like that? That’s not fair to those kids. That’s something he should have did (in) personal time. That’s a personal thing.”

Mann entered a plea of not guilty to both charges prior to the case reset last month.