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Deputy at Heritage let go
Internal investigation: Deputy used "poor judgment," "lack of professionalism"
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The deputy accused of an "inappropriate relationship" with a Heritage High School student was let go Friday after the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office finished its internal investigation.

Deputy Thomas Donahue had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the alleged relationship between the 18-year-old female student and the Heritage School Resource Officer. The principal of Heritage contacted the Sheriff's Office Jan. 30 after learning of the allegations.

The deputy and the student reportedly denied the allegations. However, according to a released statement from the RCSO, "Sheriff Jeff Wigington felt that Deputy Donahue acted in a manner that was not consistent with departmental standards and that it was in the department’s best interest to terminate his employment with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office."

The statement continued: "The internal investigation concluded that Deputy Donahue did act in a manner that discredited the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, using poor judgment and exhibiting a lack of professionalism. Specifically, Deputy Donahue violated his Diligence to Duty, Duty to Abide by All Laws and Orders, and Manner of Conduct as set forth in the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Policy and Procedure Manual."

Donahue was terminated on Friday, Feb. 10.

The sheriff's office was contacted by the principal of Heritage High School on Jan. 30 regarding the possibility of an inappropriate relationship between Donahue and the student. This is Donahue's second year assigned to the school, and he has been employed with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office for approximately five years

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was contacted to conduct a separate investigation into any potential criminal charges.

The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office will notify the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council regarding Deputy Donahue’s termination, in accordance with POST rules.