CONYERS -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has filed criminal charges against a former Rockdale County Sheriff's Office deputy who was dismissed for violating department policy.
Thomas Matthew Donahue, who was a resource officer at Heritage High School, was placed on administrative leave in February after it was alleged that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old female student.
"We asked (the GBI) to investigate any criminal aspect of what occurred, and they did," said RCSO Sheriff Jeff Wigington. "They came up with evidence that he lied to them and they arrested him."
Donahue, 32, of 140 Coldwater Drive, Covington, was arrested March 1 and charged with violation of oath by a public officer, false statements or writings, and concealment of facts.
Wigington said Donahue was arrested in Newton County by a GBI agent and a deputy from the Newton County Sheriff's Office. He was brought to the Rockdale County Jail where he was held for two days before his release on bond.
Donahue was terminated after an RCSO internal investigation concluded that Donahue did "act in a manner that discredited the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, using poor judgment and exhibiting a lack of professionalism," according to an RCSO press release. In addition, the investigation found that "Donahue violated his Diligence to Duty, Duty to Abide by All Laws and Orders and Manner of Conduct as set forth in the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Policy and Procedure Manual."
According to Wigington, both Donahue and the student denied the allegations during the Sheriff's Office internal investigation; however, Wigington said it was determined that Donahue's actions were inconsistent with department standards and that it was in the best interest of the department to terminate his employment.
Donahue, who had been with the RCSO for five years, had no other disciplinary actions on his record.