Controversial cop accused of false DUI arrests gets new job - CBS46 News

Controversial cop accused of false DUI arrests gets new job

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(Source: Surveillance video) (Source: Surveillance video)

Nestled in the mountains of north Georgia, there’s a new deputy in Dahlonega and to some he’s no stranger. 

“I’m just concerned that he has come to a beautiful small little mountain town where we don’t really have a crime problem and that things could go wrong very quickly,” Lumpkin County resident Sharon Ravert said. 

Ravert is referring to former Statham Police Officer Marc Lofton turned deputy in Lumpkin County. 

(MORE: Statham officer accused of false arrests no longer with department)

“If he turns things around fantastic, but it is concerning with me that with all of the people that may have applied for this job, they chose him,” Ravert said.

Lofton is accused of making false DUI arrests with people taking prescription medication while working for the Statham Police Department. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia found that Lofton made "significant errors in several of the DUI-Drug investigations." As a result, many of the cases were dismissed.

(MORE: Police officer under fire after dozens claim they were falsely arrested for DUI)

So CBS46 wanted to know why the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office hired Lofton.

“In our hiring process, the research that we had done with him, none of this showed up as far as the problems from the area he came from,” Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said.

Jarrard said he became aware of Lofton’s specific issues after he was hired, but stressed that he has never been indicted for any criminal wrong doing and had a clean personnel file with his prior employer.

“After this was brought to my attention, he has been assigned to the courthouse security which is not the patrol division,” Jarrard said.

Jarrard said Lofton also received additional training and will be monitored closely during a one year probationary period.

But it doesn’t sit well with some students at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.

“As a student, the student body is quite concerned with having an officer in our area who has been in trouble for abusing his power,” Lumpkin County college student Jeremy Sharp said. "We’re concerned that tourists are going to come up and visit our wineries and be arrested under false pretenses.”

“I just want the citizens of this community to know that I won’t tolerate anyone that’s being mistreated or anything of that nature, and that’s the conversation I’ve had with all of the applicants that are in the hiring process,” Jarrard said.

Jarrard said his staff is reviewing videos of Lofton’s questionable arrests to see if there is anything illegal which would impact his employment. The Sheriff also released the following statement.

Regarding Deputy Marc Lofton. He was hired by this Agency on 06/26/2017. As part of our hiring process a background investigation, interview board, and voice stress analysis test was completed. Mr. Lofton successfully passed all of these processes. We are aware of everything your news agency has reported on. We are also aware, as I am sure you are that Mr. Lofton has never been indicted for any criminal acts. Statham Police Department’s Chief has never seen fit to discipline Mr. Lofton for anything whatsoever. The District Attorney’s Office completed an investigation on Mr. Lofton and they did not see any criminal act. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Council (PAC) also investigated Mr. Lofton and did not see any criminal acts being committed. However, they did recommend additional training. Mr. Lofton has since completed and passed the additional training recommended by PAC. Mr. Lofton has an active Peace Officer certification through Georgia’s Peace Officer’s Standard and Training Council (P.O.S.T.). Mr. Lofton does not have any active P.O.S.T. investigations, nor has he ever. Additionally, a Lead DUI Standardized Field Sobriety Training (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Expert Instructor was consulted regarding Mr. Lofton. He also stated he did not see any wrong doing by Mr. Lofton and that Mr. Lofton had excelled in his classes which were recommended by PAC. For the above listed reasons, Mr. Lofton was found to be eligible for hire and subsequently hired. As with all newly hired employees, Mr. Lofton will complete our Field Training Program and he will be closely monitored during his one year probation with our Agency. Sincerely, Stacy Jarrard Sheriff, Lumpkin County 

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