Police Officer Couldn’t Find Himself for Eviction Notice
Lithonia Police Chief Washington Varnum, Jr. is fighting to keep his job, although the city of Lithonia, Georgia, found out his credentials had been revoked for an incident in his past position in the DeKalb County Sheriff’s department. That was the time he was supposed to serve an eviction notice on himself.
“He basically provided a sworn statement to the courts that he himself could not be found,” said Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) spokesman Ryan Powell.
Varnum was living at the Les Jardins apartment complex and working as a DeKalb County Deputy Marshal when, he said, a co-worker asked him to serve a stack of eviction notices at the complex.
Varnum told Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer that he noticed his name was at the top of one of the notices, but he did not serve any of them. He instead checked the box which read, “Defendant not found in the jurisdiction of this court,” and hand-wrote underneath, “All breezeways must be properly marked with the unit numbers for service.”
The option chosen is a technicality used when officers cannot find a certain address, but the marshal’s office has a policy that deputies cannot be an interested party in papers they’re serving.
“Well, it’s an honesty issue. You could argue that it’s a violation of the law. So, POST takes those issues very seriously,” said Powell.
The POST Council voted to revoke Varnum’s police certification in December 2010, citing unprofessional or deceptive conduct and bad moral character.
Varnum’s defense is that he showed no partiality and treated his own eviction notice the same way he treated all the others in the stack. By ignoring them. Varnum resigned from his job while under investigation in 2010, and was hired by the city of Lithonia -and promoted to police chief- since the incident. Link -via Fark