|Rockdale’s Sheriff-Elect names chief deputy, organizes transition team|
|Written by Valerie J. Morgan|
CONYERS—Rockdale Sheriff-Elect Eric Levett says he will hold a town hall meeting in early January to discuss his plan of action for his first 60 days in office.
“I’m going to keep my word and let the public know our priorities, where our administration is headed,” said Levett, who said the exact date and location of the meeting will be announced later.
Levett is organizing a five-member transition team, comprised of experienced law enforcement officials from throughout the metro Atlanta area, to help him get organized. Two females and three males have been asked to serve on the team. Once all of the candidates are confirmed, the team will be introduced sometime this month, Levett said. The transition team will review the organizational structure of the Sheriff’s Office and formulate recommendations for changes where needed, Levett said. Other responsibilities are being discussed, he said.
Levett said he has not met with his opponent since winning the election. Levett was certified the winner in a tense showdown that required two recounts after the elections were held because the numbers were so close. In the end, Levett edged out Sheriff Jeff Wigington with 32 votes.
Wigington congratulated Levett in a letter and through an e-mail. Wigington was one of several dignitaries who showed support to Levett’s family a few weeks ago by attending the funeral of matriarch Barbara J. Levett, who was Eric Levett’s grandmother.
Wigington could not be reached for comment, despite calls and messages left with his office. Sources said he plans to retire from the Sheriff’s Office, where he has worked for 30 years. No one has released plans for a celebration honoring his service.
Meanwhile, Levett also has named the person who will serve as second in command in his administration: He announced on Nov. 21 that he selected Major Scott Freeman, a 22-year veteran with the Conyers Police Department, to serve as his chief deputy.
Levett said he has known Freeman since they attended middle school together. Both are 40 years old and participated in the Conyers Police Explorer’s program as high school students.
Levett said Freeman possesses outstanding leadership skills and has an impeccable reputation of being fair, ethical and tough on crime, which Levett said will be a priority under his administration.
“He’s very knowledgeable, a very valuable asset to Conyers Police Department, and I believe he will be a valuable asset to the Sheriff’s Office as well,” said Levett. “He has brought in millions of dollars to the city of Conyers’ Police Department through grants.”
Freeman received his bachelor of science degree in organization leadership from Mercer University and his master’s degree in public administration from Walden University, where he also received his Ph.D. in public policy and administration.
Freeman is a graduate of the FBI national academy, open only to candidates through a nomination process. Less than 1 half of 1 percent of executive law enforcement officers in the U.S. are able to attend the academy.