ATLANTA (AP) Law enforcement officials are investigating whether to suspend a Georgia sheriff who was arrested in connection to a confrontation in a Florida bar.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday instructing a panel to investigate Walton County Sheriff Joseph Chapman.
Attorney General Chris Carr, Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch and McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall make up the investigative panel. The three are to decide if Chapman violated his oath of office. A report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution says the panel has 30 days to complete the investigation and make a recommendation.
State law allows the governor to convene a panel of two sheriffs and the state attorney general to investigate and to recommend whether a sheriff facing criminal or ethics charges should be suspended.
News outlets report Chapman and one of his deputies were arrested in May 2016 in Carrabelle, Florida. They were charged with battery, but the charges were later changed to disorderly conduct and were dismissed last week upon completion of a "deferred prosecution agreement.''
Georgia Sheriff's Association executive director Terry Norris tells WGCL-TV he asked the governor to appoint the investigatory panel.
AccessWDUN staff contributed to this report.