Gwinnett officer charged with soliciting prostitute

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County police officer was arrested in Barrow County on charges of pandering, which is soliciting an act of prostitution, authorities said.

Brian Kelly,
the Gwinnett officer, who also served as the agency's spokesman, was arrested on May 31, but Gwinnett police officials did not learn of his arrest until Tuesday.

Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh that he did not know Kelly was a police officer until Monday night.

The sheriff said Kelly's arrest was part of a sting operation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. He said an undercover deputy posed as a prostitute in an ad on online
service listing Backpage.com, and arranged a meeting with Kelly at the Winder Best Western.

Smith said Kelly came to an agreement for services with the undercover officer and exchanged money before he was arrested.

Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith said officers are required by policy to immediately report an arrest to their supervisors.  As a result of Kelly’s failure to report his arrest to this department, he was served with a letter of intent to terminate his employment.  Kelly resigned in lieu of termination Tuesday afternoon.

Kelly was a public information officer approximately two years, ending in late 2010.  He had been employed as a Gwinnett police officer since October 2003.

Smith added that Barrow Sheriff's Department has received complaints about prostitution and pandering from area hotel management and guests. He also noted that the GBI is cracking down on Backpage.com specifically.