Georgia district attorney is charged with bribery after he ‘sexually harassed a top female employee and tried to pay off a prosecutor to drop shoplifting charges against her’
- Donald Richard ‘Dick’ Donovan, 75, was arrested on Monday in Paulding County
- He is charged with four felony counts including bribery and false swearing
- It followed an investigation of sexual harassment claim by top female staffer
- Victim advocate Jaime White filed a harassment suit against Donovan in 2019
- Prosecutors say Donovan lied under oath in the case and attempted a bribe
- Donovan has been the Paulding County district attorney since 2011
Donald Richard ‘Dick’ Donovan, 75, is charged with four felony counts in Georgia
A district attorney in Georgia has been charged with bribery and other counts in an investigation stemming from his alleged sexual harassment of a female employee.
Donald Richard ‘Dick’ Donovan, 75, surrendered for arrest on Monday in Paulding County, where he is charged with false swearing, bribery, and two counts of violation of oath by an officer.
Donovan, who has been the district attorney of Paulding County since 2011, was charged following an investigation that stemmed from a sexual harassment suit filed in 2019 by Jaime White, who worked as a victim advocate in his office.
The lawsuit accused Donovan of making several unwanted advances against White between 2017 and 2019, including allegedly describing his sexual fantasies about her in detail.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the matter, and said that Donovan refuted the claims in the lawsuit in a sworn affidavit. His denial is the basis of the false swearing charge.
Donovan (left and right), who has been the district attorney of Paulding County since 2011, was charged following an investigation that stemmed from a sexual harassment suit
‘I have never suggested we have sex, I have never offered to have sex with her, I have never said I wanted to have sex with her, I have never tried to have sex with her. I have never touched her anywhere that was inappropriate,’ Donovan said in an affidavit, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In contradiction to the affidavit, White provided audio tapes and written notes to investigators, prosecutors say.
The indictment alleges Donovan lied when he denied ‘ever having said that he wanted to have sex’ with her and that he lied when he denied ‘describing his fantasies desiring to be physical’ with the woman.
The bribery charge against Donovan relates to allegations that he tried to bribe a prosecutor to drop shoplifting charges against White.
The indictment also alleges Donovan violated his oath of office when he committed bribery.
The indictment alleges Donovan lied when he denied ‘ever having said that he wanted to have sex’ with a victim advocate in his office. He is seen above at a community event
The bribery charge against Donovan (second from right) relates to allegations that he tried to bribe a prosecutor to drop shoplifting charges against the female employee
White claimed in a discrimination complaint that Donovan repeatedly told her he was in love with her and forced her to sit in lengthy private meetings with him.
Donovan’s behavior toward her, White said, caused her ‘anxiety, shame and emotional distress.’
White’s civil suit was settled for $300,000 in January 2020. Donovan has denied any wrongdoing.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has the power to suspend Donovan as district attorney if a committee appointed by the governor deems it necessary.
The committee is currently reviewing the indictment against Donovan.
A bench warrant for Donovan’s arrest was issued on Thursday, giving him until Tuesday to surrender for booking.
Donovan surrendered at around 4.30pm on Monday and was released about an hour later after posting a $2,500 cash bond.