A night shift supervisor at the Dawson County Detention Center is on paid administrative leave while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation looks into accusations he punched an inmate in the face.
Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle said the incident reportedly happened June 9. It was turned over to him by the jail's command staff for review after he got back from vacation.
"I read everything they gave me and looked at the pictures and I determined that I didn't need to do an internal [investigation] myself, because I felt it was borderline criminal," he said. "So I contacted GBI and asked them if they could send an agent up to look at this case."
Sgt. Shane Jenkins, who has been employed with the sheriff's office since March 2008, has been suspended until the case is resolved. Carlisle said that is standard procedure while an incident is being investigated.
GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said she could not discuss the open case.
The agency's findings will be forwarded to the Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh, Carlisle said.
"They're putting the case file together and Lee will make a determination on if he wants to prosecute or not," he said.
"Obviously, if they come back and say they're going to prosecute him, then we're going to terminate him."
According to Carlisle, the incident appears to have begun as a verbal altercation that escalated and ended with the inmate being treated for a black eye and lacerations to his face.
"I tell all my people that I've got policies in place, and if you are following those policies and doing your job professionally and correctly, I'll stand behind you 100 percent," he said. "But if you cross that line and go out on your own against my policies, then you're on your own."
Jenkins' suspension comes on the heels of two other local jailers being dismissed due to violations of departmental policies.
Jonathan Biles was fired May 9 after an internal affairs investigation determined he had violated the agency's employee code of conduct and workplace harassment policies.
Biles had been employed as a jailer since January 2013.
In April, Robert Bo Tanner of Murrayville was dismissed after his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. He had worked in the jail since 2011.