DeKalb County Sheriff pleads not guilty to indecency, obstructio - CBS46 News

DeKalb County Sheriff pleads not guilty to indecency, obstruction charges

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Crystal Gaines read charges against DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann on Friday.

Mann pleaded not guilty to public indecency and obstruction stemming from an arrest in May. Now a jury trial has been scheduled for July 7 in city court.

Geraldine Champion attended the arraignment. She’s not only a DeKalb County citizen, but also a former law enforcement officer.

“It’s embarrassing to me,” Champion said. “This is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to every taxpayer and DeKalb County citizen.

The sheriff is accused of exposing himself and committing a lewd act in Piedmont Park. Moments later he was seen running from an Atlanta police officer.

Harold Dennis was also in court. He ran against the sheriff in the general election and lost.

“If you’re not guilty, then you shouldn’t run,” Dennis said. “Me coming down today is not political, it’s just being concerned about the citizens of DeKalb County.”

Criminal defense attorney Sara Becker said the sheriff’s case may hinge on the outcome of a state appointed investigation into the incident and that Friday's not guilty plea was to be expected.

“That’s absolutely to be expected. I would say that the majority of criminal defendants who enter a guilty plea in a case would waive arraignment or plead not guilty at the initial hearing,” Becker said.

And despite an uncertain future for the sheriff, some DeKalb County citizens are still embracing him.

“I think he’s a great Sheriff,” DeKalb County citizen Rachel St. Fleur said. “This is something that he did off duty. I just feel right now he should remain in his position.”

Friday marked the final day of the sheriff’s self-imposed suspension on himself. He will be back at work on Monday, but it will be weeks if not months before things return to normal.

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