DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County's sheriff said he "intends to continue to come to work" after his arrest for allegedly exposing himself in Piedmont Park.
Sheriff Jeffrey Mann was arrested after an Atlanta police officer allegedly saw him touch himself inappropriately and then expose himself Saturday night. The officer said Mann fled but eventually surrendered.
On Friday, Mann appeared at a news conference with his lawyer, Noah Pines.
The attorney said that he believes that the governor does not have the authority to form the committee because "Mann is not facing criminal charges."
Pines said that Mann was arrested for allegedly violating Atlanta city ordinances.
"Ordinance violations are, by definition, not criminal charges," Pines said.
Gov. Deal's office had no comment on Mann's contention that the panel weighing his removal is illegal.
But Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills accused Mann's attorney Noah Pines of cherry picking the state law. Sills is a former president of the Georgia Sheriffs Association.
Sills says state law allows a governor to remove a sheriff for "misconduct," which Sills contends describes Mann's alleged conduct in Piedmont Park.
"This is a lawyer picking the words he wants," Sills told 11Alive News Friday.
Pines read the following statement from Mann:
"I want to thank my supporters for the may phone calls, message and prayers. It has been heartening to hear from you and learn of your continued support of me as your Sheriff.
I'm fully aware that people want to hear from me and I understand that. My attorney has asked me to not speak to the media. He wants me to allow the judicial process an opportunity to work. I am going to take his advice and allow him to speak for me. When my case is resolved, I look forward to speaking with my constituents.
For now, I would like to deeply apologize to the citizen of DeKalb County for the unfavorable light my arrest as brought on this County, the dedicated men and women of the Sheriff's Office and most importantly the citizens.
I have already met with a majority of my supervisory staff, and had a heartfelt conversation with them about this situation. I let my staff know, and i want you to now, that I am still your sheriff and I hope to remain your sheriff. I understand that I was elected by the voters of DeKalb County and I intend to continue to come to work, to maintain the high level of excellence that the citizens of DeKalb County deserve and have come to expect from this Sheriff's Office. I pledge to you that my only goal is to continue to do the work that you elected me to do. Thank You."
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