Police officer charged with theft, resigns position Friday
An East Ellijay police officer who failed to immediately turn in the purse of a woman he arrested, and then allegedly cashed a money order from the purse, has been charged with theft, according to authorities.
Michael Gene McClure, 48, of 350 Mulberry St. in East Ellijay, was charged Feb. 14 by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with theft by taking and violation of oath of office, both felonies, according to a release from the East Ellijay Police Department.
McClure resigned Friday morning after being told Thursday by Police Chief Larry Callahan he could resign by noon Friday or be terminated.
“We are extremely disturbed by the charges brought against Sgt. McClure,” Callahan said. “We have confidence in the investigative and judicial process, and are cooperating fully in the investigation.”
GBI Special Agent Kim Williams confirmed McClure did take a money order and cash it.
“A complaint was made and that prompted Chief Callahan to contact us and request an investigation,” she said, adding in a later email the request was made on Jan. 31.
Callahan said the theft stemmed from an arrest earlier this year.
“A purse was taken during an arrest,” Callahan said of the drug-related charges against Donna Lynn Adams, 53, of Blairsville, on Jan. 3. “It was on her person, and that’s how (McClure) came to be in possession of it.”
Adams was charged by McClure with DUI/drugs, reckless driving, tampering with evidence, three counts of obstruction of an officer, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, failure to yield entering a roadway and possession of a drug-related object.
Callahan was asked if the purse was supposed to be turned in as evidence.
“The purse was supposed to be turned in as personal property at the jail, and it was not, until a later date,” he said. “At that point, it was discovered that there was an item missing.”
McClure cashed a $150 money order on Jan. 10 that was taken from Adams’ purse, according to a Gilmer County Superior Court warrant signed by Judge Mary Beth Priest. McClure bonded out on a $5,000 bond just after his arrest, according to a county jail spokeswoman. He did not immediately return a voice message requesting comment.