Paulding DA suspended following felony charges stemming from sexual harassment investigation

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — Gov. Brian Kemp has signed an executive order suspending Paulding County District Attorney Dick Donovan after the state issued a warrant for his arrest last week.

Kemp signed the order Wednesday night, saying Donovan “is hereby suspended from office immediately and with further action pending the final disposition of the case or until the expiration of his term of office, whichever occurs first.”

A grand jury indicted Donovan on four criminal charges, including bribery and lying under oath. Most of the charges stem from his relationship with a top female staff member. Donovan had until Tuesday to surrender to authorities.

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Donovan turned himself in to police and was booked into the Paulding County Jail around 4:28 p.m. Monday. He was released on a $2,500 cash bond at 5:41 pm.

If he is convicted, these are the jail times and/or fines that Donovan could face:

  • Bribery: 1-20 years, and/or a fine up to $5,000
  • Violation of Oath of Office: 1-5 years, and/or a fine up to $100,000
  • False Swearing: 1-5 years, and/or a fine up to $1,000

Donovan has been in office since he was elected to the position in 2010.

Channel 2 Action News first told you about the investigation into Donovan in 2019. He has always denied the allegations.

According to the indictment, Donovan submitted an order dismissing criminal charges against a prosecutor’s client in hopes that the prosecutor would in turn dismiss charges against an employee in Donovan’s office.

The indictment also says Donovan “made false statements in a sworn affidavit when he denied ever having said that he wanted to have sex with this same employee of his office and denied describing fantasies regarding his desire to be physical with this employee.”