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Posted: July 10, 2012 8:03 p.m.

P'dale officer accused of harassment

Newton County authorities are investigating after the former city clerk of Porterdale filed a complaint against Porterdale Police Sgt. Jason Cripps, alleging that he provided her WiFi password to others, allegedly stealing her Internet while on duty.

A report from the Newton County Sheriff's Office said that Johnson, who now owns a business in Porterdale after resigning her post at the city, was told by her daughter that a juvenile female who is a member of the PPD's Explorers program texted her Friday night, requesting the WiFi password from the business, which does provide free WiFi to customers.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Johnson alleges that the juvenile texted her daughter back, saying, "We were not as sneaky as we thought we were and they have our password and that Sgt. Cripps had shared it with the entire group of Explorers." She said that when they received that text, they went back to the restaurant and saw that their password protected WiFi had nine devices which were not recognized that had logged into the account. From there, she called in the NCSO, who turned the information over to the GBI.

"I cannot trust the Porterdale Police Department," said Johnson, when asked why she called the NCSO instead of the PPD. "I have no faith in the Chief of Police [Geoff Jacobs], nor would I have any faith in the sergeant [Jason Cripps]. I had no faith that they would do anything but sweep this under the rug... This is an person [Cripps] that I have went to the city numerous times for harassment by him and the police department as a whole, and in my opinion this is one more case of harassment. What's more, you have someone who has sworn to uphold the law and is breaking it."

Johnson said that Cripps has never been inside her business, nor has he ever been a paying customer - who are the only ones who are able to use the WiFi. She also said that he has turned people away from her restaurant and defamed it.

"He needs to abide by the same laws and rules that he is sworn to uphold," she said, adding that she has filed a complaint with the city requesting his immediate removal, since she is alleging that he stole internet from her while in uniform.

"I can't keep letting them run over me," Johnson said. "I have the right to stand up for myself. What he did was illegal and wrong. It was irresponsible behavior - especially in front of Explorers - and he had no right to do it."

Cripps was contacted and said that he did not comment on open investigations.

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