There were reportedly complaints of inappropriate behavior starting in August 2011 of the deputy who was recently terminated after accusations of an inappropriate relationship with a female Heritage High School student, according to an internal Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office investigation.
Deputy Thomas Donahue was fired Feb. 10 after the RCSO found he “did not act with professionalism and (he) used poor judgment, reflecting discredit upon the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.”
The 32-year-old deputy and 18-year-old student both denied the allegations of an inappropriate relationship in written statements.
However, Donahue’s responses to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation polygraph test “indicated deception” when he answers questions about whether or not he had sexual intercourse or sexual contact with the student, according to an internal investigation report. The GBI was called to investigate whether criminal charges should be filed.
Donahue was reportedly warned by his supervisor as early as August 2011 after the Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous complaint that groups of female students were hanging around Donahue during the day. The supervisor then asked an assistant principal if he had also observed Donahue hanging around with groups of females or a particular female, and the assistant principal reportedly said he had not observed such but would pay closer attention.
The internal investigation began after Principal Greg Fowler contacted the RCSO on Jan. 30. Fowler had reportedly received complaints from teachers around Jan. 25.
An inventory of Donahue's desk at the school revealed an envelope with scantily clad pictures of the student as well as love notes from the student.
The notes referred to a meeting at Sims Elementary School on Aug. 12, 2011, Heritage football games, and “sneaking to your house.”
A picture was also reportedly sent to a Heritage teacher that showed Donahue in a bedroom with his RCSO uniform on and the student on his back, both smiling.
According to the internal investigation report, Donahue said he had visited the student at her aunt’s house to check on her, as she had been having issues in her life but “turned her life around in a major way.” He said the student jumped on his back and they fell on the bed.
Donahue was employed with the RCSO for about five years and this was his second year assigned to the school.