(Cleveland)- A Georgia Department of Corrections officer is facing charges of theft by taking and violation of his oath of office, after he was arrested May 28th. Cleveland Police say 24-year old Levi Jehu Franklin, of Morganton, Ga. is accused of taking old water meters from the City of Cleveland Shop and selling them for scrap metal.
Franklin was working as a corrections officer with the Colwell Correctional Center supervising an inmate work detail in the city of Cleveland.
According to Cleveland Police Chief John Foster, he was contacted on May 23 by an official with the Cleveland City Shop about a theft. According to Foster, an inmate had advised an employee at the city shop that Franklin was placing the old water meters in 5-gallon buckets and placing them in the Department of Corrections van.
Chief Foster followed the inmate van, in an unmarked car back to the correctional center in Blairsville. There Foster observed Officer Franklin escorting the inmates back into the facility, then exiting the building getting into his personal vehicle and pull up to the City of Cleveland Inmate van and removing the buckets of meters and placing them in the trunk of his vehicle. Franklin then got back in his vehicle and drove back to the employee parking lot.
Foster said he then exited the vehicle and entered the building with the other correctional officers.
Franklin was arrested Tuesday, May 28, by investigators with the Office of Professional Standards, Criminal Investigation Division for the Georgia Department of Corrections, when he arrived for work at the corrections facility.
He was transported to Cleveland where he was booked into the White County Detention Center. Franklin is being held on a $10,000 bond.