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Fugitive Douglas County firefighter terminated for lying about criminal history, officials say

Daymetrie Williams is wanted in Alabama for missing a court appearance related to a 2019 arrest. Here's what we know.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A metro Atlanta firefighter who is wanted in Alabama has been fired, according to documents obtained by 11Alive investigators.

Douglas County firefighter Daymetrie Williams was terminated Friday for allegedly falsifying information on his employment application, giving false statements to his supervisor, and violating county conduct rules, according to a termination letter to Williams sent by interim county fire chief Miles N. Allen.

A warrant for Williams' arrest was issued on January 23 after he failed to appear in court on a felony theft by deception charge.

11Alive investigators reported earlier this year that the department hired Williams in 2021 despite previous felony and misdemeanor arrests in Alabama and Georgia. 

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the fire department only did a background check on Williams after he was hired. The department ran another background check on Williams nearly a year after he took the job, the GBI said.

Following that reporting, the county placed then-chief Roderick Jolivette on administrative leave as they examined the fire department's hiring practices. In May, Jolivette was terminated

A third-party report commissioned by the county alleges that Jolivette attempted to hide information and protect Williams.

A Douglas County spokesperson was unable to comment on Williams' termination before publication.

The timeline of Williams' termination

It took months for the county to conduct its investigation and terminate Williams, according to various documents and reports reviewed by 11Alive.

Many of the details were laid out in the third-party report that examined how Jolivette handled the allegations against Williams. Atlanta-based business law firm Thompson Hine LLP authored the report on Jolivette.

The county investigation started at the end of January after the Circuit Court of Madison County, Alabama, issued a warrant for Williams' arrest after he failed to appear.

The appearance was tied to Williams' June 19, 2019, theft arrest. He was released from jail days later on June 22, according to the report.

Two years later, a grand jury indicted Williams on the theft charge. 

According to the investigation, Williams was also convicted of two misdemeanors in Alabama in 2019 — cruelty to animals and confining an animal to a pen.

11Alive previously reported Williams was also arrested and charged with burglary and theft in Fulton County in 2004. The charges were dismissed in exchange for $200 restitution and community service.  

County officials allege that Williams lied about his criminal history to supervisors and others on multiple occasions.

In a pre-employment questionnaire, Williams said he was convicted on a "2005 possession charge" that resulted in no jail time. He failed to mention the Alabama convictions, according to the report.

He also failed to mention the Alabama warrant to Allen, his supervisor, in a February 2023 phone call, according to the termination letter.

Williams told Allen on the call there was no warrant, and he had not been to Alabama since 2015, according to the letter. Allen became interim chief after Jolivette's termination. 

"Your statement that you had not been in Alabama since 2015 is proven to be false, and constitutes giving a false statement to your supervisor, amounting to a violation ... of the Douglas County Merit System rules," a portion of the letter reads.

County officials claim former chief Jolivette protected Williams and attempted to stall any investigation into his criminal background.

The county's report on Jolivette alleges he failed to provide county officials with details about Williams. The report also alleges Jolivette was told about the arrest warrants early this year, but he failed to confirm or investigate the accusations.

Jolivette was told to work with the fire department's lead investigator Brad Stewart by county officials to investigate the claims regarding Williams.

However, Jolivette failed to provide the county with Stewart's report once it was complete. The documents included a copy of Williams' criminal history, according to the county report.

Instead of turning over Stewart's results, Jolivette turned in his own report — which lacked much of the information he was asked to provide. 

County leaders were eventually given copies of the Stewart report once the investigator told them that the document existed.

Jolivette also allegedly hid Williams' personnel file in a locked cabinet. The file was obtained by county officials weeks later. Only Jolivette and his assistant had access to the file cabinet, according to the county's report on Jolivette.

Williams had been on leave from the department since November 2022 while county taxpayers paid his $46,000 salary, 11Alive previously reported.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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