Former Lawrenceville Police Captain Runs for Sheriff to Combat Atlanta Crime Wave

LAWRENCEVILLE, Georgia – A former police captain in Lawrenceville, Georgia is now running for sheriff in Morgan County, with a platform focused on protecting the county from the increasing crime rates in nearby Atlanta, according to his campaign website. The former captain, Ryan Morgan, left the Lawrenceville Police Department in December 2021 amidst allegations of sexual harassment. The subsequent investigation found that both Morgan and the police chief at the time, Timothy Wallis, had harassed Captain Tawnya Gilovanni, who was the department’s first female command staff member. The investigation report also revealed the existence of a longstanding “good ol’ boy” network within the agency. The scandal came to light in early 2022 after it was reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wallis resigned in February 2022, and later claimed in a lawsuit that he was forced to do so after violating a media directive from the city manager not to discuss the investigation. Morgan, in his complaint, denied the allegations against him and argued that Gilovanni had falsely accused him due to her own lack of qualifications for promotion. The complaint also stated that Gilovanni had engaged in inappropriate behavior herself. Gilovanni resigned in June 2022 and reached a $300,000 settlement with the city over her own discrimination complaint.

Morgan’s retirement coincided with the sexual harassment investigation, and he was not interviewed by the investigator. Morgan claimed that he was pressured by the city manager, Chuck Warbington, to retire because the investigation was closing in on him, and he feared losing his career and ability to support his family. The city manager and the mayor, David Still, both allegedly accommodated Morgan’s retirement plans and even wrote him letters of recommendation.

Legal experts believe that Morgan could face challenges in his lawsuit, as cases involving resignations rather than terminations require the burden of proof to show that the working conditions were so unbearable that any reasonable person would have resigned. However, Morgan’s attorney argues that his retirement during the investigation demonstrates a constructive discharge.

In summary, a former police captain in Lawrenceville, Georgia, is now running for sheriff in Morgan County while facing allegations of sexual harassment during his time in the Lawrenceville Police Department. The case revealed a “good ol’ boy” network within the department and resulted in the resignation of both the police chief and the captain. The former captain denies the allegations and claims he was forced to retire due to the investigation. Legal experts suggest that proving constructive discharge could be a challenge in his lawsuit.