GAINESVILLE — In a press release from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday afternoon, disciplinary action was taken on employees of its Jail Division following an investigation into their conduct on the job.

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 Sheriff’s Office command staff,” the release says. It goes on to add that several violations of policy and procedure were violated.  Those violations “related to unbecoming conduct, unsatisfactory performance of duty, sexual misconduct between the employees and a failure to supervise.”

The behavior that sparked the investigation did not rise to the level of criminal wrongdoing or involve inmates at the facility.  The employees were found to be compromising professionalism and their behavior could have compromised the “operational effectiveness of the shift”.  

“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.” 

The investigation found the eight parties below to be in violation of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures. 

  • 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 (5) days
  • Jailer Kingston Morris Suspended two (2) days
  • Jailer Alexis Mitchell  Resigned while under investigation
  • Sgt. Andrew Ondo  Resigned while under investigation
  • Lt. Ken Nix Retired/Resigned

Couch also assures in the press release that he demands the very best behavior from all of the Sheriff’s Office employees and he’s proactive in ensuring that all employees adhere to their strict standards. He adds that the vast majority of them are dedicated and responsible employees who “put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis.” 

— Staff Reports


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