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Lieutenant charged with deleting sheriffs office data
Tammy Crawford
Tammy Crawford

A former lieutenant with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office was arrested Wednesday on charges she intentionally deleted sheriff’s office data.

Tammy Crawford, 42, from Lula, was terminated Aug. 28, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation began an independent investigation at the request of the sheriff’s office, according to a news release.

The sheriff’s office reported no criminal cases were affected. The data included sheriff’s office policies, procedures and internal operations as well as data related to national accreditation administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and Georgia Police Accreditation Coalition.

Some of the deleted data had been backed up, but parts were lost or corrupted beyond use, according to the news release.

The sheriff’s office said Crawford was upset about a pending lateral transfer to the Court Services division and “intentionally deleted a massive amount of data as a deliberate, vindictive act.”

Operations were not affected, the office said.

Crawford, who served in the Office of Professional Standards as the department’s accreditation manager, is charged with computer trespass and violation of oath of office.

A conviction of computer trespass carries a maximum fine of $50,000 and prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Violation of oath of office is a felony that carries up to five years’ imprisonment.

She had been employed with the sheriff’s office since 1989, serving as a clerk, jailer and patrol deputy. She began her most recent role in 2006.

“The Hall County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate criminal behavior on the part of its employees, regardless of rank or position,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. “This is a very unfortunate incident where an experienced employee made a choice and must deal with the consequence of that. It is disappointing to see this type of criminal activity perpetrated by any employee.”

Crawford was booked in the Hall County Jail and is free on $10,000 bond.

The GBI investigation is ongoing.