Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Coffee County (GA) Sheriff arrested

The biggest Douglas, GA news story in about three years is just gathering steam. Its seems that the Coffee County is having trouble keeping a Sheriff that actually upholds the law. The previous Sheriff committed suicide after he was charged with growing and selling illegal drugs. On Monday, the current Sheriff, Rob Smith, was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of use of an inmate for personal gain, two counts of violation of oath of office, two counts of malpractice and malfeasance while in office and one count of theft by conversion. Yesterday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrested him on these charges.

I am puzzled by why the Sheriff would think that it was ok to use of an inmate at the County jail to make political signs for his reelection or why he would convert a law enforcement vehicle for his personal use by removing the government tag and replacing it with his own personal tag. Maybe he thought that because Douglas is a small town, no one would care.

Just as the story was breaking news, nearly 100 protesters gathered outside of the Coffee County Court House, voicing their support for the Sheriff (sorry I don't have actual pictures).

Here are some of the quotes of protesters I got from the news wire:

"Out of all the sheriffs that have been in Coffee County, Rob has proven to be the most legitimate and justified right man for the job," said Rev. Collin McQueen.

"If anybody has a right to carry a badge, it's Rob Smith. He just doesn't care about people, he cares about the community ...."

The protest organizer....said she believes "Smith is innocent of any alleged wrongdoing and should be left to do his job as he sees fit."Rob's a good man and [he's] never hurt nobody," she stated. "If Rob can't help you, he's not going to hurt you. If he can do anything for you, he will do it. I don't care who you are, what color you are, he don't care. The only thing I think Rob's guilty of is helping people."

"He doesn't need to be treated like this. I could understand if he killed somebody or was growing dope, but not like this."

I lived in Douglas 8 years ago and I cannot recall ever meeting Rob Smith so I currently don't have a opinion on the matter and cannot confirm why so many of the protesters claim that he has actually helped the community. I'm not sure why some community members would think that just because Smith has done something good for the community that he can do no wrong. By now the GBI must have a wire tapes and cameras in Douglas watching the dealings of the local law enforcement. I would be rather surprised if Sheriff Smith actually served time for the crime.. for sure the charges will get everyone else on thier toes and stop the use of government property for personal gains.


Blogger camper said...

funny thing - there has been a lot of this kind of thing going on lately...

10:14 AM  

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