published Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Walker County sheriff's employee under investigation

The state is investigating whether a Walker County Sheriff's Office employee failed to dispose of items collected in crime investigations as required by state law.

The employee hasn't been named by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the case.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson confirmed that he asked the GBI to look into the employee's actions, but he declined to say how he found out about the possible misconduct.

GBI Special Agent in Charge Jerry Scott said agents are looking into allegations that the employee improperly handled and disposed of items seized during multiple sheriff's office criminal investigations.

Scott wouldn't say what the items were.

GBI policy precludes the agency from disclosing the names of employees under investigation until the findings are complete, Scott said.

After the investigation is done, the evidence will be turned over to the Lookout Mountain district attorney's office to decide whether the employee will be prosecuted, he said.

Meanwhile, the employee is on paid leave, Wilson said.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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