RCSO chief deputy Cordero fired

Rob Cordero

CONYERS -- Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington fired his chief deputy Friday and cited several laspes in conduct in following department policy.

Rob Cordero, a 15-year veteran of the RCSO, was released without a severance package. Wigington did not offer specific details on Cordero's firing Tuesday after releasing the termination letter and a written statement.

According to Cordero's termination letter, Cordero was placed on administrative leave/suspension Feb. 2 for violating the RCSO policy regarding involvement with a person of questionable character. The policy, cited in the letter, prohibited a deputy from fraternizing or associating in a "personal, social or financial relationship with any person(s) of questionable character." Cordero was suspended for violating this policy and was required to turn in his badge, RCSO identification and other county equipment. That equipment also included his office keys and county-issued cell phone, according to the termination letter.

However, it was noted further in the termination letter that Cordero went to the county's Department of Management Information Services and accessed his cell phone information and remotely accessed his own work computer while on administrative leave.

"This is clearly against policy while you are on administrative leave/suspension with pay," Wigington wrote.

Wigington said it was this incident, "along with other factors," that led to the termination.

"Your position as Chief Deputy Sheriff is one that requires my highest confidence," read the termination letter.

Calls to Cordero on Tuesday were not returned.

The chief deputy acts on behalf of the sheriff during his absence and has supervisory and command authority of the operational facets of the department, according to the press release. Cordero was appointed to the position in March 2006.

"It is with regret that I had to make this decision, but I felt that I had to do what was best for the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Rockdale County, even when it was difficult," Wigington said in the press release.

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