Governor Deal appoints panel to investigate sheriff arrest

By: Associated Press
July 12, 2017

Gov. Nathan Deal (R-Georgia).

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) -- Law enforcement officials are investigating a Georgia sheriff who was arrested in connection to a confrontation in a Florida bar.

Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday instructing a panel to investigate Walton County Sheriff Joseph Chapman.

State law allows the governor to convene a panel of two sheriffs and the state attorney general to investigate and to recommend whether a sheriff facing criminal or ethics charges should be suspended.

News outlets report Chapman and one of his deputies were arrested in May 2016 in Carrabelle, Florida. They were charged with battery, but the charges were later changed to disorderly conduct. The charges were dismissed last week upon completion of a "deferred prosecution agreement."

Georgia Sheriff's Association executive director Terry Norris says he asked the governor to appoint the investigatory panel.