A representative of the state Attorney General said Wednesday his office won’t investigate Sheriff Donny Turner.
David S. McLaughlin, senior assistant attorney general, sent Coweta District Attorney Pete Skandalakis a letter saying Turner did nothing criminally wrong when he tried to intimidate a former employee into not campaigning for an opponent in the July 31 election.
“This conclusion only involves the question of criminality and not the ethical considerations presented by Sheriff Turner’s comments,” McLaughlin wrote.
Turner is accused of threatening the job of former sheriff’s department employee Jon Whitney, who has been head of security at West Georgia Health since 2007. Voter intimidation is a felony.
McLaughlin said Turner wasn’t trying to intimidate Whitney into not voting and an act of intimidation didn’t occur.
“The issue is not one of elector intimidation, but one of retaliation against Mr. Whitney for supporting another candidate,” McLaughlin said. The attorney general’s office also defined intimidation as “placing another person in reasonable fear for the person’s safety or the safety of another person.”
“There is no evidence that Sheriff Turner’s comments placed Mr. Whitney in reasonable fear for his safety or the safety of others,” McLaughlin said.
Turner said after the incident that he acted out because he was hurt seeing a former employee campaign for his opponent.