DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A former DeKalb County deputy says he was forced off the job for wearing a wig.
Antonio Perryman is calling it hypocritical of the sheriff because of the top enforcer's own professional troubles.
Perryman told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that he's hurt by the way he was forced out after two decades of stellar service.
"I said, ‘Hey, you know, let me make people happy, you know? Do something a little different.' So I put on the Afro wig. Neither time I was out there did I not do my job duties," Perryman said.
With three days left before celebrating a 20-year retirement, Perryman decided to direct traffic outside the courthouse wearing an Afro wig. Bystanders took pictures and laughed.
"You know, that made me feel a little joyous about that being my last week," Perryman told Carr.
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Hours after his shift last week, Perryman said he got a late-night phone call from a superior and said he was soon forced to resign.
"I was later informed by Chief Maddox that she and the sheriff were totally upset over the Afro wig and told me that I disgraced the uniform," Perryman said. "When she told me that, I just got numb. Like ‘I disgraced the uniform?' And in my mind, I'm here saying that we got a sheriff running through Piedmont Park from the police like it's an episode of 'Cops.'"
Perryman is talking about the 2017 investigation into Sheriff Jeffrey Mann's trouble that began with charges of indecency and obstruction and video we uncovered of him running from Atlanta police.
It ended with a guilty plea to lesser charges and the revocation of Mann's state law enforcement certification. The sheriff is still fighting the decision today in a state-level appeal and is due in court late this year.
Perryman said his punishment doesn't fit this wig.
"My plan was to finish with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office with 20 years of service and I got robbed from that," Perryman said.
Perryman doesn't expect to lose pay in the ordeal, but his records won't reflect actual retirement.
While these incidents typically offer an appeals process, the Sheriff's Office declined to comment on a personnel issue Tuesday, saying Carr will have to submit a records request for Perryman's file, which Carr did.
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