Georgia State Patrol sergeant hasn’t been to work in 7 months but still gets paid

Kendall Blake Swicord
Kendall Blake Swicord

A Georgia State Patrol post commander who was placed on paid administrative leave in March remains suspended from work more than seven months later.

Sgt. First Class Kendall Blake Swicord was relieved of his duties at Post 33 in Milledgeville on March 2, the same day an investigation into alleged policy violations began.

Georgia Department of Public Safety spokesman Capt. Mark Perry refused to provide basic information about the reasons for Swicord’s suspension other than saying that the department’s office of professional standards is investigating.

“It is still an open investigation so we will not be making any comments,” Perry said.

Sgt. Ed Starling has been serving as acting post commander in Swicord’s absence.

Swicord does not have to report to work, but he must be available to answer questions during business hours. Also, since he is still receiving full pay, he is not allowed to work any off-duty job during the investigation, Perry said.

Swicord’s annual salary is $82,289, according to state patrol records.

He is one of 17 Georgia State Patrol employees placed on administrative leave this year.

There is no average time for administrative leave, but Perry said, “seven months is by far the longest I’ve seen.”

Swicord started in law enforcement as a Baldwin County sheriff’s deputy in 1996. He started working as a state patrol trooper in September 2001.

Swicord transferred to the Milledgeville post last August after working at the Dublin post since April 2014, according to state patrol employment records obtained by The Telegraph.

Before that, Swicord worked for the state patrol’s criminal interdiction unit. He also worked eight years on the state’s SWAT team.

Swicord received the Commissioner’s Commendation Award in 2006 and the Governor’s Public Safety Award Act of Heroism in 2007.

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor