Forsyth County

Records show fired deputy skipped work, looked at adult videos in squad car

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A deputy who was supposed to help kids stay safe outside school is off the job.

Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik was in Forsyth County, where former Deputy Todd Franklin was fired.

Petchenik uncovered records showing a long list of what the sheriff called unacceptable behaviors.

Channel 2 Action News filed an open records request for the internal affairs investigation. According to those documents, Sheriff Ron Freeman received complaints from the school district that Franklin consistently failed to show up for his job doing traffic control outside of his assigned county school.

Investigators determined that Franklin billed the school district for his services on three days he didn't show up for work. Investigators said that led to even more disturbing findings.

Records said that during a search of Franklin's county-issued cell phone, investigators found explicit texts and pictures sent and received between Franklin and a woman.


Records say a review of Franklin's body camera footage showed him viewing adult videos in his squad car while on duty.

Franklin claimed he was investigating allegations of an underage girl involved in inappropriate videos.

Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a statement:

"When someone acts as this former employee did, they lose their right to work alongside those Deputies and employees who serve with such distinction and heroism daily.

Freeman wrote. "The Sheriff has made it expressly clear that unethical, illegal, or immoral acts will lead to termination from this agency... There is no room for this conduct here, and the men and women of FCSO, as well as our citizens, deserve better."

The state agency that certifies officers has a record that Franklin was terminated from his job, which could affect his ability to find another job in law enforcement.

Franklin responded to the allegations by saying: What happened was a “clerical error” and he’s hired an attorney to fight the termination. He maintains that he did not steal any money from the school board.

His attorney sent a statement to Petchenik that says: “As a school resource officer, Mr. Franklin performed his duty to protect the schoolchildren of Forsyth County with dedication and an exemplary spirit of kindness, cheerfulness, and compassion. Mr. Franklin did not engage in any illegal, immoral or wrongful conduct in the performance of his duties as a deputy officer... Mr. Franklin is confident that his professional reputation will be vindicated when all of the relevant facts come to light and the truth is made known.”

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