Paulding County District Attorney faces bribery, other counts in case linked to a Cedartown shoplifting case and one of his employees.

Paulding County District Attorney faces bribery, other counts in case linked to a Cedartown shoplifting case and one of his employees.

Media release: Attorney General Chris Carr announces that the office’s Prosecution Division has indicted Paulding County District Attorney Donald Richard “Dick” Donovan on four felony charges: Bribery, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-2(a)(1); False Swearing, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-71(a) (two counts); and Violation of Oath by Public Officer, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-1. A Paulding County Grand Jury returned the indictment on February 17, 2021.

“We appreciate the Paulding County Grand Jury for their careful consideration of this case,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “District attorneys work for the people and swear an oath to faithfully and impartially discharge their duties. It is our duty to hold public officials who violate their oath accountable, and we look forward to presenting our case in court.”

“The GBI is dedicated to investigating corruption at all levels and working with prosecutors to help lead to a successful prosecution,” said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds.

Donovan has served as the Paulding County District Attorney since his election to that position in 2010. The indictment charges that Donovan committed the offense of bribery when he submitted an order dismissing criminal charges pending in Paulding County Superior Court against a client of the Cedartown Municipal Court prosecutor with the purpose of influencing this prosecutor’s decision regarding the disposition of criminal charges then pending in the Cedartown Municipal Court against an employee of Donovan’s office.

The indictment also charges 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. In addition, the indictment charges that Donovan violated the terms of his oath of District Attorney by committing the offense of bribery.

If convicted, each count enumerated above is punishable as follows:

  • 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

The case was investigated the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

About the employee: A story in Thursday’s AJC says the employee, Jamie White, has accused Donovan of sexual harassment. Background

Statement from the city of Cedartown released Thursday morning:

The City of Cedartown did prosecute a shoplifting case against Jamie White in late 2017. The case was ultimately dismissed as a part of a pretrial diversion program that is
frequently given to first-time shoplifting offenders.

The pretrial diversion program requires, among other things, that the defendant complete a shoplifting awareness class and that the victim be paid back the value of what
was taken.

The disposition of this case was not unusual for a first-time shoplifting offense. The individual who prosecuted the case is no longer the city solicitor and has not been for several
years.

 

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