Steroid abuse investigation targets Cobb firefighters, police
by Jon Gillooly
July 01, 2013 10:00 PM | 9190 views | 22 22 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Cobb County government officials are conducting an investigation following claims that five county firefighters and a police officer may have consumed and/or distributed steroids without prescriptions.

County officials were notified by the Marietta Cobb Smyrna Narcotics Unit that a county employee may have illegally used steroids. An investigation by the county’s internal affairs unit and legal department began the week of May 20 and remains active.

The investigation, originally focused on one former firefighter accused of using steroids in 2010, expanded following additional claims that other firefighters and a police officer could be involved, county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

Based on information gathered, the county placed some of the employees on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.

The investigation is expected to continue for the next several weeks as the county makes every effort to detect and prevent this type of activity, Quigley said.

Cobb County Government has a zero tolerance policy for the possession or consumption of controlled substances unless directed by a physician.

“We expect our employees to follow the rules, to set a positive example for those around them and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct both on and off duty,” County Manager David Hankerson said in an email. “This investigation will let us know how these employees acted and if they broke the rules.”

County Chairman Tim Lee said he was only notified of the investigation on Monday afternoon.

“We have a no-tolerance policy toward this kind of use, and my hopes are that the charges will be unfounded and they will just be circumstances that somebody had an ax to grind and that the firefighters and the police officer will be reinstated. But, if there is in fact proof that they violated the policy, then the discipline will be determined by (Cobb Fire Chief Sam Heaton) and (Public Safety Director Jack Forsythe) and Mr. Hankerson as to what the appropriate response should be to whatever they discover,” Lee said.

Lee said this was the first instance he could recall of Cobb firefighters being accused of illegal steroid use.

“They like to pump iron because they like to keep in shape, and it could just be a handful of guys,” Lee said. “In the end, we might find out there is no violation, but there was enough evidence to look at it, and that’s what we’re doing now is looking, and they’ve been put on leave until we can get to the bottom of it.”

Quigley said there are no indications that the distribution or use of steroids occurred on county property or while these employees were on duty.

The current status of each employee is:

  • Employee 1: Fire Department, seven-year employee, resigned;
  • Employee 2: Fire Department, 15-year employee, administrative leave;
  • Employee 3: Fire Department, 22-year employee, remains on duty;
  • Employee 4: Fire Department, 24-year employee, administrative leave;
  • Employee 5: Fire Department, 26-year employee, administrative leave;
  • Employee 6: Police Department, seven-year employee, resigned.

 

Comments
(22)
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Cobb Co Hierachy
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July 07, 2013
Cobb County Hierachy has all their scandalous love affairs, explicit no no's, and conduct unbecoming BS going on now and going on for years and years and years. Do we really want all that brought to the surface boys? I know each and every one of y'all are reading this squirming in your pants, lying by your wife, saying, HELL NO! Yeah, that's what I thought. Very UNFORTUNATE for your FELLOW firefighters, Forget the BS politics, you once stood side by side by these guys and you KNOW who they are and have dedicated their lives to.... Protecting the property and lives of Cobb County. Don't forget where you came from.
TheRealIssue
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July 07, 2013
Steroids aren't even the issue! The reason they're in trouble is for LYING and/or COMMITTING A CRIME. You're asking for trouble if you think these cops and firefighters shouldn't be let go for such an offense. If you're caught lying, Cobb will fire you on the spot...zero tolerance.
ModernPatriot
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July 04, 2013
Wow there is a ton of misinformation about steroids floating around. Steroids, when used and not abused, are very beneficial to a male (and in very minute doses, beneficial to females). If you honestly look at the history of the war on steroids, they were made illegal for political reasons. Please do your own research, not just go by the commercials.

I don't know about you guys, but I want my police officers and firemen bigger and stronger than the other guys. Also, like someone else posted, what do you think all these commercials are peddling to middle age men? That's right, steroids...but they just call it "Testosterone Replacement Therapy" or "Hormone Replacement Therapy." That's right, steroids and HGH. Why? Because it can be good for you!
AB86
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July 04, 2013
Hankerson , Total Hypocrite!! What a clown!!
Pitiful Cobb Co Folk
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July 02, 2013
Media, Media, Media! When will you people ever learn? They make a good story to get all you fired up over half the story. People always love the "rumor mill". They don't even know what's really going on, but for sure they will have some opinion, some comment. I hope none of you people casting stones live in a glass house. These guys put their lives on the line for YOU! Smh.
Geez Louise
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July 02, 2013
To the backers and defenders: What part of this quote did you not understand, "Cobb County Government has a zero tolerance policy for the possession or consumption of controlled substances unless directed by a physician."
You Don't Have A Clu
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July 07, 2013
Do you work for Cobb? Or just laid up with your Cheetos ridden fingers and steady unemployment check coming in looking for something else to grip about?
I Am Watching
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July 02, 2013
@well watch out--You obviously have inside information to share. The article did not mention the name of the steroids. There are hundreds out there. Try reading books from the American Medical Association and not ancient ones. Published in 2013. Steriods have positive uses, but should only (and I do mean only) be used under the supervision of medical professionals. This is for the benefit of the user as well as the abuser. Why aren't steroids over the counter? I can answer that. Because they can be extremely dangerous. Beside the pros and cons of the drug, these are paid public service employees that are breaking the law and are taking drugs illegally. That in itself is the main concern.
Watcher...
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July 02, 2013
Does the County do random drug testing for all Public Safety Employees? If not, why not?

Is Vic Reynols considering a Grand Jury investigation?

Hi There
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July 03, 2013
Cobb County does random drug tests, but with the large amount of government employees mixed with the budget, equals UA tests once every few years.
Djfkhirbh
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July 02, 2013
I'm a firefighter and I'd rather depend on another healthy firefighter to pull me out of a fire, not a firefighter on steroids. Steroids are dangerous when used illegally and not monitored by a doctor. Doctors cycle a worthy patient on and off steroids. If someone takes steroids non-stop, they can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which could lead to a heart attack. The last thing you or your family needs is a firefighter or cop falling out on an emergency scene. Trust me, these firefighters are harming not only themselves, but the public too. If they feel it's ok to lie about steroids, then what else are they capable of lying about?
anonymous
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July 02, 2013
Steroids have extremely dangerous side effects such as aggressiveness, mood changes, and personality disorders. I don't want to be near anyone that is on steroids. They are like a loaded gun--you never know when they might go off.
Well watch out
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July 02, 2013
Because every other man over 40 is on Androgel or Axiron. Watch out for all those crazy folks on prescription drugs! It does silly stuff like make them feel better, retain muscle mass, lose fat, sleep better. Really what kinda ancient books are you reading.
Malister
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July 02, 2013
juiced up police and firemen? no surprise---they like to be big and mean looking
Poor pitiful Cobb co
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July 02, 2013
Really? You only know what the media has "portrayed" to you. And you want to grant such harsh, rash judgment that quickly? God bless your soul.
Bob Bummer
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July 02, 2013
"Pump Iron"? Is that a steroid or drug that is injected into the body to help keep in shape? I thought the county provided an exercise facility to keep fit the legal way. Those "handful of guys" need to be in the jail not on duty. Illegal drug use should not be tolerated. Public safety employees know the law and should loose their jobs and have the book thrown at them if they break the law. Why are the names being kept secret?
no not jail
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July 02, 2013
The jail has already had plenty of their own arrested. I bet these guys had legal prescriptions and were sharing them and that would be a problem.
Scandal???
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July 02, 2013
How is this a scandal? A former employee back from 2010? Geez, find something a little more worth investigating. Sounds like this is a waste of us taxpayers money!
Martha w
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July 02, 2013
Wow. If I was in in a fire I'd want the biggest strongest fireman available to pull me and my family out! Hopefully these guys keep their jobs and are stationed near me.
Just Wait
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July 02, 2013
It will be interesting to find out if the steroid use was because of a personal desire to bulk up or in response to the counties fitness program and it being tied to evaluations and promotions.
Give me a break
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July 02, 2013
So our law enforcement officers want to be stronger to fight the bad guys and keep us safe. Where is the problem?
Mary Jane
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July 02, 2013
C'mon. So it turns out firefigthers and cops are nothing more that 12 year old boys who want to be macho tough guys when they grow up. Big deal. Let them roid up, it could come in useful for them; for me it would only help me take out the garbage.
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