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Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Deputy arrested

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Facing various computer theft charges, Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Deputy Charles Tharpe was arrested Tuesday, an e-mail report from Sheriff Kevin Sproul stated.

Tharpe was charged with computer theft, computer invasion of privacy, theft by taking and violation of oath of office, the report stated.

"This arrest is the culmination of an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was requested by Sheriff Sproul upon receiving information that Tharpe may have been accessing and releasing information from the computer database at the Dougherty County Jail without proper authority," the report stated.

According to the report, Tharpe was placed on unpaid administrative leave and incarcerated in the Dougherty County Jail without bail.

Sproul called a press conference for 8:30 a.m. today to discuss the investigation and Tharpe's arrest.

His arrest comes almost five months after two 911 operators lost their jobs with the communications center for making unauthorized checks on people through the Georgia Crime Information Center data base.

Allegations during the time indicated the fired operators would tell individuals whether they had warrants issued for their arrest, thus alerting them to investigations by authorities.