One Rockdale County Sheriff's Office deputy was terminated and four others resigned during a months-long investigation into allegations of the use of anabolic steroids. The same deputy who was fired had also previously resigned from the Conyers Police Department after a 2011 bar fight.
During the RCSO's internal investigation, Deputy Jason Heyman tested positive for anabolic steroids, a substance used illegally by bodybuilders and athletes. He was terminated April 21.
Four other deputies resigned while the investigation was underway: Jason Payne, Sgt. Larry Reed, Sgt. Bob Cooley and jail Deputy Chris Speyer. They resigned before they were able to be drug tested.
Speyer was reportedly also arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations for providing false statements.
Heyman, a K-9 deputy with the Criminal Interdiction Unit, had been with the RCSO for two years. Cooley had been with the RCSO for 14 years, and Reed for 10 years. Payne had been with the RCSO for 15 years, resigned in good standing in 2011, and was rehired in October 2013.
The investigation began when a complainant brought the allegations to Sheriff Eric Levett in September 2014. Levett said he then asked the OPS to investigate the matter and report to him. When it was substantianted that illegal substances might have been involved, Levett said he contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
The GBI provided a criminal case update to the RCSO OPS during the first week of April 2015. The OPS continued the administrative investigation at this point. During the administrative investigation, Deputy Jason Heyman was terminated on April 21. Heyman was terminated for six substantiated complaints: Violation of Oath of Office, Code of Conduct - Duty to abide by all laws and orders, Code of Conduct - Duty to refrain from disclosing any information relating to law enforcement activities, Code of Conduct - Manner of Conduct, Code of Conduct - Insubordination and Code of Conduct - Possession/Purchasing/Using/Selling Controlled Substances.
On April 21, four additional deputies with the RCSO were placed on paid administrative leave stemming from alleged policy violations relating to this same administrative investigation. Administrative interviews were scheduled for these four employees within two days of being placed on paid administrative leave. When the deputies arrived for their scheduled individual administrative interview, each of the four deputies submitted a written notice to resign from employment before any questioning could take place. The resignations for these four deputies were submitted to Georgia POST as "resigned while under investigation," which automatically results in a POST investigation.
On April 23, Deputy Christopher Speyrer, one of the four deputies who resigned while under internal investigation, was arrested by the GBI for providing false statements as part of their criminal investigation. Speyrer is a Council Certified Officer through Georgia P.O.S.T. and was assigned to the Jail Bureau of the RCSO.
Heyman had been previously involved in a 2011 fiasco in another law enforcement agency, the Conyers Police Department, where a bar brawl ended with him resigning from the CPD.
That fight, which occured January 21, 2011 at the Pointe bar in Olde Town, began as a retirement celebration among off-duty law enforcement personnel for a RCSO captain. The captain reportedly wanted the bar allow a 19-year-old, who was reportedly the group's designated driver, inside despite the bar's policy to not admit anyone under 21 years of age. Later that night, a verbal fight later ensued between the celebrating group and a bar patron. A punch was thrown, striking an off-duty officer. During the internal investigation, Heyman resigned before administrative action could be taken. Two other officers were reprimanded and demoted.