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NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Alpharetta police have fired a detective after an internal affairs investigation determined he "grossly mishandled evidence" during a drug raid and then wasn't truthful during that investigation.
Documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News Reporter Mike Petchenik through an open records request said the incident happened Oct. 3 as Alpharetta Police assisted the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office on a raid.
"During that raid, money was found on the site," said Alpharetta Assistant City Administrator, James Drinkard. "That money was subsequently found to be missing momentarily and it was found to be in possession of that officer, which drew some questions."
According to the internal report, Shawn Chapman and others found a large sum of money.
"Chapman informed him he located the money in a nightstand drawer, located inside a checkbook box," the report said.
"Detective Chapman articulated that it suddenly hit him that he needed to use the washroom….(he) took the money into the toilet closet with him."
The report said Chapman told investigators he wanted to "impress his lieutenant" with the find, so he took the money with him, only emerging with it in his hand after others discovered it gone.
The report said other investigators realized the money was missing and began to yell loudly throughout the house.
"Detective Chapman was not honest about not hearing the detectives yelling about the missing money," the report said of his interview with investigators after the incident.
Investigators also believe Chapman stuffed clothing into the toilet, possibly as a way to deflect attention from himself, and then lied about it when asked what happened.
Internal affairs investigators brought in the GBI to investigate whether Chapman broke any laws.
"He was cleared of criminal charges but we had to do our investigation to determine did he follow departmental policies and that unfortunately led to his termination," said Drinkard.
Drinkard said the department has reported the termination to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) which certifies police officers in Georgia.
Director Ken Vance told Petchenik his office has opened a separate inquiry into the matter.
Petchenik reached out to Chapman through a family member, but as of Wednesday, he hadn't heard back.
An email to his attorney wasn't answered either.
"Tantamount to our ability to perform the public's business, is the ability for the public to trust us, to have faith in our integrity, and when that is called into question, we have to respond in a serious way," Drinkard said.
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