GBI investigation of SCSO Lt. Josh Pitts is ongoing; second deputy disciplined administratively

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The GBI investigation of Lt. Josh Pitts, of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, is ongoing. The GRIP first reported June 8 that Pitts is being investigated by the GBI at the request of Sheriff Darrell Dix.

As the case is ongoing, Dix has newly confirmed that Pitts’ status is unchanged.

“Josh is on paid administrative leave,” he said, confirming no further action has been taken against the narcotics agent. “There has been no administrative action against Josh Pitts. He has not been demoted. He has not been transferred. He has not been fired. He is on administrative leave until the investigation is over with.”

A second deputy involved in the incident – Conner Dix – has been the subject of disciplinary action.

“As part of the investigation, I became aware of a policy violation. He (Conner Dix) was suspended for three days without pay and the policy, as written, was reviewed and rewritten so that it would not be vague in the least bit. But the policy was rewritten,” Sheriff Dix said. “He is not being investigated by the GBI.”

Deputy Conner Dix, who served in the SCSO Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement (CAGE) Unit at the time of the incident, has since been transferred to the Warrant Division, but Sheriff Dix said that move was unrelated to any disciplinary action.

“Conner moving out of the CAGE Unit and into the warrant division had nothing to do with the complaint made that is being investigated by the GBI on Josh Pitts. They are unrelated. Conner was there when the incident happened and for his part, disciplinary action has been taken. His move out of the CAGE Unit was not part of the disciplinary action,” Sheriff Dix stated. “Conner transferred voluntarily to the Warrant Division. That’s it. Nobody has been fired. No one has been disciplined outside of what we have talked about. All the talk about Josh being fired and prosecuted, none of that is true. Period.”

Sheriff Dix then addressed the elephant in the room – the fact that Conner Dix is his son.

“He faced disciplinary action just like any of my other deputies would facing the exact same circumstances. He has been cleared by the GBI. He did not violate the law. It was a policy violation. He was interviewed and he was cleared. Based on what I saw, it was a policy violation and so I suspended him without pay,” Sheriff Dix said. “You can’t prosecute someone criminally for a policy violation, but you can discipline them, and he was disciplined just like anyone else would be. Probably harder, actually, because he does have my last name and people look at that more harshly. For the policy violation, there was no verbal warning to him. There was no written warning to him. I suspended him for three days without pay. Like I said, I went straight to suspending him. I was probably more harsh on him than I would have been on anyone else.”

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