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'He should be removed from office': Houston County deputy facing firing over offensive comments about Ahmaud Arbery murder case

Paul Urhahn has worked for the Houston County Sheriff's Office for 20 years

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Paul Urhahn has been working at the Houston County Sheriff's Office for 20 years, but after some offensive social media comments, he might be turning in his badge.

The now-deleted Facebook comment on a Macon TV station's post about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery shows Urhahn saying, "That criminal Arbery still got the death penalty though."

That comment caught the attention of people on social media almost instantly.
Dozens of people demanded disciplinary action against the deputy.

"If these allegations are found to be true, I agree that he should be removed from office," said Houston County’s NAACP chapter president, Jonathan Johnson.

Johnson said he planned to meet with the sheriff' office and awaits results of the investigation, but if it doesn’t go well, will call for change.

"I don’t think that I would feel or anyone else in the community would feel like supporting someone who doesn’t support all the people in the community," Johnson said.

As of Monday morning, Chief Deputy Billy Rape says the sheriff's office had taken action.

"He is suspended pending termination. He had 10 working days from today through the 20th at 5 p.m. to file for an appeal hearing," Rape explained.

In a letter to Urhahn, the office states he violated two sections of conduct: discrediting the department, and conduct that leads to the loss of public respect and confidence.

The chief deputy said Urhahn had been disciplined in the past for other violations, but his firing was based solely on this latest offense due to, "The destruction of public respect for himself and our department through all of the social media outrage."

According to Chief Deputy Rape, Urhahn was allegedly recorded on a doorbell camera using a derogatory term against a young Black woman in 2020. He said they couldn't substantiate that and took no action. 

If Urhahn does appeal his firing, a hearing will be held within five days.


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