Ex-Georgia official pleads guilty in sexual harassment case

Former Pauling County District Attorney Dick Donovan has pleaded guilty to one count of unprofessional conduct and been sentenced to 12 months on probation, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced Thursday.

Gov. Brian Kemp suspended Donovan last February after he was indicted on four felonies including bribery, violation of oath by a public officer and two counts of false swearing.

The charges stemmed from an accusation of sexual harassment filed against Donovan by a staff member at the Paulding district attorney’s office. When he denied the allegation, the woman produced audio tapes and written notes backing up her accusations.

“As independently-elected public servants, Georgia’s district attorneys must fulfill their solemn obligation to uphold the rule of law no matter the circumstance,” Carr said Thursday.

“When these same individuals abuse their power with complete disregard for their sworn duties, they harm the very justice system they are put in place to defend and protect. We will not hesitate to hold accountable public officials who violate the law and their oaths of office and hope this case sends a message that public corruption of any kind will not be tolerated here in Georgia.”

As a result of the sentence, Donovan has resigned his position and is required to surrender his license to practice law.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation handled the investigation of the charges against Donovan.

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