Former Albany custodial employee charged with sex crime
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
(Dougherty County - GA) Commissioner Avery D. Niles of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice announced today that Dougherty County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested a former housekeeper following allegations he committed a sex crime outside his employment with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
60-year-old Michael Lloyd Johnson of Albany, Georgia was arrested Monday by the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office on a charge of Felony Criminal Attempt to Entice a Child for Indecent Purposes.
Investigators allege Johnson had improperly established contact with a former female detainee who had recently been released from the Regional Youth Detention Center in Albany where Johnson was formerly employed as a housekeeper.
Acting on information from a family member of the 14-year-old former detainee, Intelligence Investigators from the Department of Juvenile Justice initiated their case after learning that Johnson had contacted and communicated with the teenager by text messages after the teenager's release from DJJ custody.
Investigators say when questioned, Johnson allegedly admitted his contact and communications with the teen were for the purpose of engaging in a sexual relationship, but that he was allegedly unaware the youth was just 14-years-old. DJJ Commissioner Avery Niles ordered that the off-duty housekeeper should be immediately removed from DJJ duty and placed on suspension without pay while the department took steps toward his dismissal.
"I gave instructions for the department to immediately place Mr. Johnson on suspension and move toward termination," said Commissioner Niles. The off-duty housekeeper was officially suspended from employment at the regional detention center on January 7, 2013 and subsequently terminated from DJJ service January 15th.
Commissioner Niles indicates the DJJ investigation and subsequent charges were made in consultation with both the Dougherty County Sheriff and District Attorney's Offices. "I gave clear warning when I was appointed Commissioner that there would be no room at DJJ for criminal behavior," said Commissioner Niles regarding Monday's arrest.
The new Commissioner, who endorses public transparency in department operations said, "Regardless of employee rank or position, this type of serious legal and policy violation will not be tolerated anywhere in the workplace in this agency. Violators at DJJ will face severe consequences."
The Commissioners' core message since his November 2012 appointment by Governor Nathan Deal has emphasized that the critical duties of the Department of Juvenile Justice are to uphold and enforce policy, ethics, and safety and security measures at Georgia's juvenile justice facilities so both DJJ detainees and staff can function in a safe and secure learning environment.
Investigators say there are no indications that Johnson's alleged criminal behavior ever carried over to his state custodial duties inside DJJ. The criminal investigation continues at this time.
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