On the day that a Georgia State Patrol trooper was set to be fired after an investigation into allegations of misconduct, a top official at the agency said he needed more time to consider the trooper’s appeal.
Sgt. Kendel Blake Swicord, who commanded the Milledgeville post, has been on paid administrative leave since March 2 while the state patrol’s Office of Professional Standards investigated alleged policy violations.
Among allegations in a 500-page Georgia Department of Public Safety internal investigation file obtained by The Telegraph, Swicord associated and did business with someone who had a criminal background, which is against departmental policy. He also was accused of using his state-issued phone to send and receive inappropriate texts and nude pictures from multiple women.
Maj. Tommy Waldrop, the patrol’s commanding officer, had proposed that Swicord be terminated at the close of business Thursday.
Swicord had appealed the termination in person at a hearing at Department of Public Safety headquarters in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Capt. Mark Perry, the department’s public information officer, said there is no written record of what Swicord said at the hearing.
Messages left for Swicord have not been returned.
On Thursday morning, Lt. Col. Russell Powell, the patrol’s deputy commissioner, said he had “determined that additional time is necessary to fully consider” Swicord’s appeal, according to a memo The Telegraph obtained Thursday.
“You will remain suspended with pay until I render my decision,” Powell wrote in the memo to Swicord.
Swicord is also accused of working off duty for the Luke Bryan Farm tour for years even though Powell denied his request to do so in 2013.
Swicord made $82,289 annually and had been working for the Georgia State Patrol since September 2001. The 46-year-old transferred to the Milledgeville post in August 2016.
The internal investigation into his alleged misconduct started March 2 after FBI agents raided a Milledgeville bar and restaurant and found .45-caliber Glocks that Swicord had bought at a gun sale. The guns were in the possession of a man who had a criminal background.