Computer trespass charge dropped against ex-Clayton Sheriff’s chaplain


A computer trespassing charge against a former Clayton Sheriff’s Office chaplain was dismissed Tuesday, seven months after he called Sheriff Victor Hill an “evil man” in an email.

Rodney Williams was fired from the department on Feb. 2, but found himself facing a warrant for his arrest three days later because of the critical email of Hill he sent his former co-workers on the sheriff’s office computers on his last day.

“Sheriff Hill’s toxic leadership (i.e. harassment, retaliation, targeting an employee to cause a hostile work environment by monitoring activities, sideshow investigations and creating a schedule to force him to resign) is the worse [sic] of any leader in the Sheriff’s office,” Williams wrote in the email.

Williams said he was fired because he refused to comply with Hill’s decision last year that chaplains would become deputies and because he did not want to promote Nixle, an emergency notification service that some say Hill has used as a campaign tool. Williams also acknowledged he was also terminated because he watched the Atlanta Falcons on his work computer, though he said he still got work done.

After the email, Hill charged that Williams was trespassing on the department’s computer and issued a warrant for his arrest. Williams turned himself in four days later.

The Superior Court of Clayton County concluded Tuesday that Williams had not trespassed because his Sheriff’s Office email account had not yet been deleted when he sent the message, nor had his access been terminated.

“An argument can made that the defendant did not access the computer network without authority based on his ability to access the server,” the court said. “Furthermore the defendant had not been explicitly informed that he was not allowed to access the email.”

Williams said he felt vindicated by the dismissal of the charge.

“I’m happy that it’s over,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Georgia dental board inaction could leave patients at risk
Georgia dental board inaction could leave patients at risk

The Brantley County woman went in to have three teeth pulled. After a bad reaction to sedation, she experienced a deadly medical condition that stopped the oxygen from reaching her blood and lungs. She died in the hospital nine days later. To hear her dentist tell it, he tried to save her life. The Georgia Board of Dentistry said his care led...
Grieving Indiana family upset with botched burial
Grieving Indiana family upset with botched burial

Members of an Indiana family said they are unable to grieve properly because their relative has not been buried nearly two weeks after his funeral, WXIN reported. >> Read more trending news  Louis Meador, 62, died Sept. 1 and his funeral was six days later, the television station reported. Several days of rain prevented Meador&rsquo...
Buford Highway mostly re-opened in Gwinnett after water main leak
Buford Highway mostly re-opened in Gwinnett after water main leak

A 1.1-mile stretch of Buford Highway in Gwinnett County was closed for emergency water main repairs Thursday afternoon, according to an alert sent by the county Department of Transportation.  The county’s water department began repairs on a water main leak, but found the leak wasn’t as bad as anticipated, county spokesman Joe Sorenson...
Texas bride paralyzed in boogie board accident in Hawaii
Texas bride paralyzed in boogie board accident in Hawaii

A Texas woman’s dream honeymoon in Hawaii earlier this month turned nightmarish when she was paralyzed in a freak boogie boarding accident, KXAS reported. >> Read more trending news  Nikki Lewis and Will Lewis were married Sept. 8 in a destination wedding on Maui. Days later, the couple and some friends were at the beach. While...
Georgia Southern student’s death in March was drug-related, GBI says
Georgia Southern student’s death in March was drug-related, GBI says

The March death of a 22-year-old Georgia Southern University student from DeKalb County was drug-related, according to a GBI autopsy. Bradley Frietas, a Decatur High graduate, died of accidental acute heroin and fentanyl toxicity, a GBI medical examiner determined. “There is no suspicion of foul play” in Frietas’ death, GBI spokeswoman...
More Stories