EXCLUSIVE: Fired Lithonia police chief failed 'to be completely - CBS46 News

EXCLUSIVE: Fired Lithonia police chief failed 'to be completely candid' in landing Fulton Co. job

Posted: Updated:
LITHONIA, GA (CBS46) -

There were tough questions for the Fulton County Solicitor General's office Friday after The Bulldog broke the news that the fired Lithonia police chief currently under state review was hired there only days later.

After The Bulldog brought this to the attention of the Solicitor General on Thursday, the former chief was gone within hours.

On Friday, we learned there is an "active investigation" regarding his employment.

The Solicitor's office told us Thursday that they did a "background check" Thursday that led to the separation.

But was The Bulldog the background check?

Was the Solicitor's Office aware of the cloud hanging over Chief Roosevelt Smith when he was hired as a county investigator days after he was fired amidst controversy in Lithonia?

All they had to do was pull his state employment records, which we have. It shows he was terminated on May 7, and a state investigation into his leadership was launched on the 15th.

On Thursday, Smith himself told us he had informed his new bosses about his situation, and it was our calls that led to his departure.  

After follow-up questions to the Solicitor and his staff were ignored Thursday night, we took a trip downtown Friday to speak with him. He wouldn't meet with us, but hours later, his staff sent a statement with detailed answers to our questions.

"Mr. Smith was separated from provisional employment on May 24, 2018, after only a few days as a provisional employee."

They say he had not yet been officially sworn in.

"There is an active investigation regarding the provisional employment of Mr. Smith."

"Because background checks are ongoing for full-time investigators, we were able to catch the issue during his first few days as a provisional employee."

"Even in law enforcement, occasionally candidates for employment fail to be completely candid."

The former chief, meanwhile, has hired an attorney, so this is clearly not over, especially for the city of Lithonia.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.