published Friday, March 2nd, 2012

GBI probes fired Catoosa County deputy’s dealings with girl

A Catoosa County, Ga., sheriff’s deputy who was fired this week is being investigated on whether he broke the law by having a relationship with a juvenile female, authorities said.

Former Deputy Stephen Crossen — a 51⁄2-year department employee — was fired Wednesday for a policy violation, Sheriff Phil Summers said in a news release.

The sheriff declined to comment on the decision to fire Crossen, saying it was against office policy to comment on personnel matters.

Earlier this week, Lookout Mountain District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the relationship the deputy had with a juvenile and whether it was illegal, said Special Agent in Charge Jerry Scott.

At the end of the investigation, the case will be released to Franklin, who will decide whether to file charges, Scott said. But authorities didn’t give a timeframe for completion of the investigation.

Crossen couldn’t be reached for comment.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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