February 18, 2021–8:24 a.m.
Attorney General Chris Carr has announced that the office’s Prosecution Division has indicted* Paulding County District Attorney Donald Richard “Dick” Donovan on four felony charges: Bribery, False Swearing (two counts), and Violation of Oath by Public Officer.
A Paulding County Grand Jury returned the indictment on February 17, 2021.
“We appreciate the Paulding County Grand Jury for their careful consideration of this case,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “District attorneys work for the people and swear an oath to faithfully and impartially discharge their duties. It is our duty to hold public officials who violate their oath accountable, and we look forward to presenting our case in court.”
“The GBI is dedicated to investigating corruption at all levels and working with prosecutors to help lead to a successful prosecution,” said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds.
Donovan has served as the Paulding County District Attorney since his election to that position in 2010. The indictment charges that Donovan committed the offense of bribery when he submitted an order dismissing criminal charges pending in Paulding County Superior Court against a client of the Cedartown Municipal Court prosecutor with the purpose of influencing this prosecutor’s decision regarding the disposition of criminal charges then pending in the Cedartown Municipal Court against an employee of Donovan’s office. The indictment also charges Donovan made false statements in a sworn affidavit when he denied ever having said that he wanted to have sex with this same employee of his office and denied describing fantasies regarding his desire to be physical with this employee. In addition, the indictment charges that Donovan violated the terms of his oath of District Attorney by committing the offense of bribery.
If convicted, each count enumerated above is punishable as follows:
- Bribery: 1-20 years, and/or a fine up to $5,000
- Violation of Oath of Office: 1-5 years, and/or a fine up to $100,000
- False Swearing: 1-5 years, and/or a fine up to $1,000
The case was investigated the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.