Dawson police chief ordered to resign after plea deal

Published: Aug. 23, 2017 at 4:56 PM EDT|Updated: Feb. 27, 2018 at 4:53 PM EST
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Pataula Circuit ADA Ron Smith. (Source: WALB)
Pataula Circuit ADA Ron Smith. (Source: WALB)

DAWSON, GA (WALB) - Dawson's Public Safety Director has been ordered to resign by a Pataula Circuit Judge as part of a plea deal, effective immediately.

Under the radar of the media, Dawson's former police and fire chief Charles Whitehead quietly entered a guilty plea in the Terrell County Courthouse on Tuesday.

He's guilty of one count of misdemeanor false writing of statements for signing off on tag paperwork for a stolen trailer without actually inspecting the vehicle.

He was indicted in June for those charges.

It's a choice that not only has cost him a year of probation but his job as Dawson's Public Safety Director.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Whitehead had still not tendered his resignation as ordered by the court.

But, Dawson's City Attorney Tommy Coleman said he doesn't think it's necessary.

Pataula Circuit prosecutor Ron Smith said as part of Whitehead's misdemeanor plea deal, he can never work in law enforcement in the seven county circuit again.

"That is probably the most important part of the whole plea deal," said Smith.

According to prosecutors, on February 17, 2017, Whitehead signed a certificate of inspection on a stolen trailer for a friend, Monica Johnson, without actually inspecting the trailer.

"He signed it, without inspecting it, or even knowing if it even existed, he signed it, certified, that he had inspected it," said Smith.

That document was returned to Christopher Peters.

Now, Peters, along with Johnson and Christopher Robinson, are facing various charges related to this stolen trailer.

Peters and Robinson will go to trial on Monday.

Monica Johnson is now in jail for a probation revocation.

Whitehead received a great deal of community support following the criminal charge and has been on leave until now.

Dawson's Assistant Police Chief Tommy Poupard has been acting Police Chief since Whitehead was charged.

As a first offender, at the end of the year-long probation, Whitehead will have this criminal charge wiped from his record.

"Chief Whitehead has been in law enforcement a long time, but part of the problem here is, he has compromised his integrity, and in that capacity, is no longer qualified," said Smith.

It's not the final time Whitehead will be in court.

As part of his plea deal, he is being called to testify in the stolen trailer trial on Monday.

In addition to probation, he has a $500 fine and court costs to cover.

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