DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — EDITORS NOTE: After this story aired, GBI found Douglas County Fire department ran an initial background check on Daymetrie Williams on June 29, 2021 - one month after he was hired by the department. The department ran a second background check nearly a year after he was hired.
A Douglas County firefighter is now a fugitive out of Alabama, and Georgia taxpayers are still paying his salary of $46,000 a year.
Not only is Daymetrie Williams still getting paid, 11Alive Investigators found out his run-in with the law happened two years before he was hired.
In May of 2021, Williams received his hiring letter for the Douglas County Fire Department. The 39-year-old got the job despite the fact he was facing felony theft charges out of Huntsville, Ala. from a 2019 arrest.
We tried to speak with Douglas County Fire Chief Roderick Jolivette, but no one from the county would comment.
Jolivette, however, did speak with a reporter at the Douglas County Sentinel and said he didn't know about the charge, claiming it never showed up in a background check.
But 11Alive Investigators dug deeper into those claims. According to the GBI, the fire department did a background check on Williams, but not until June 29, 2021 -- after he was already hired for the job. GBI said the department ran another background check on Williams nearly a year after he was hired.
That's not all we found. Through an open records request, 11Alive Investigators found court records showing Williams was arrested and charged with burglary and theft out of Fulton County in 2004. The charges were dismissed in exchange for $200 restitution and community service.
The fire chief is quoted in the Sentinel as saying that wouldn't have shown up in a background check because it's more than 10 years old.
But we checked with GBI officials and they said there is no timeframe on background checks and an arrest, even without a conviction, would still show up as long as it wasn't a restricted record.
11Alive Investigators also obtained Williams' personnel file, showing he was written up twice in the span of a few months. He got a written reprimand for an "altercation with an employee" and probation for "unwanted leering." The records show he's been on leave since November and taxpayers are still funding his $46,000 salary.
On top of that, 11Alive Investigators also check into Williams' resume. He wrote that he graduated from West Virginia and West Virginia State Universities with degrees in fire science and psychology.
We contact both universities. West Virginia University said it had no record of Williams even attending its campus, let alone earning a fire science degree. The other university said Williams did attend and graduate from West Virginia State University, but did not obtain a degree in psychology as he claimed.
While no one from the county would go on camera, officials provided a short statement saying the county is investigating the allegations and will take appropriate actions that are deemed necessary.