The Hall County Sheriff’s Office has taken disciplinary action against eight jail division employees based on their conduct at work.
An internal investigation was launched in mid-November after allegations involving the employees, all of whom served on the same night shift at the Hall County Jail, were brought to the attention of HCSO command staff. The investigation found several violations of policy and procedure related to unbecoming conduct, unsatisfactory performance of duty, sexual misconduct between the employees and a failure to supervise, according to a news release.
While the conduct in question did not rise to a criminal level or involve inmates at the facility, the investigation found that it did compromise the professionalism and operational effectiveness of the shift, the news release said.
As a result, the following actions were taken:
•Deputy Randall Norton, resigned during pre-termination hearing.
•Jailer Dani Colella, resigned during pre-termination hearing.
•Jailer Christopher Smith, resigned during pre-termination hearing.
•Deputy Daniel Harris, suspended five days.
•Jailer Kingston Morris, suspended two days.
•Jailer Alexis Mitchell, resigned while under investigation.
•Sgt. Andrew Ondo, resigned while under investigation.
•Lt. Ken Nix, retired/resigned.
“The vast majority of the deputies, jailers and civilian professionals who serve in our jail work extremely hard to maintain a safe and professional environment,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said. “While those employees are clearly devoted to professionalism and duty, unfortunately this small group of employees was not. At the conclusion of the investigation, I took swift disciplinary action to address the matter with these few. I cannot and will not tolerate this type of behavior by our personnel. Poor choices have consequences, and as result, six individuals are no longer employed and two others were suspended without pay.”
Couch went on to say, “As sheriff, I demand exemplary conduct from my employees, to include adherence to the law and our department policy. I don’t want the actions of a very few to reflect poorly on the dedicated employees who continually do an excellent job and put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis. I will accept nothing less than professional behavior from my staff, and will remain proactive in this effort.”