EXCLUSIVE: Ousted Lithonia PD Chief talks to CBS46, resigns Fulton Co. job after Bulldog questions


The ousted police chief of Lithonia talked exclusively to the CBS46 Bulldog Thursday night about allegations of missing or stolen evidence during his tenure at the small DeKalb County department.

The interview was after The Bulldog also broke the news that despite the cloud hanging over him and his tenure at the department, he was recently hired by Fulton County, but lost his job Thursday when Chief Investigator Jonathan Carlson started asking questions.

In his first comments since we first reported on allegations of stolen evidence from the department evidence room, former Chief Roosevelt Smith -- fired by the city May 7 -- told us by phone that evidence was missing long before he became chief. He also questioned the new interim chief's recent audit that claimed guns and badges disappeared.

"Not sure if the interim chief did his due diligence," Smith said. "Don't just say evidence was missing under my watch."

Despite being under a state Department of Public Safety investigation, Smith was hired as an investigator with the Fulton County Solicitor General's Office.

That didn't last long.

When we called the county, they told us after a background check Thursday that there was "an immediate separation."

Smith told us Thursday night that he resigned.

The Solicitor General refused to answer our detailed questions surrounding the former chief's hiring and departure, and if a background check was done prior to our call Thursday.

Smith told us he did not hide the controversy surrounding him from Fulton County.

Finally, on Thursday, The Bulldog spoke exclusively with the former Lithonia police officer who discovered the missing evidence. He asked not to be named.

"I was the custodian of the property room. I put tape on every weapon in there. Twelve glocks were missing.... twelve," said the former officer.

He says he reported the missing weapons to superiors and was soon retaliated against and fired.

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

Chief Investigative Reporter

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