A former Monroe County deputy has been banned from the county and from law enforcement jobs after admitting to asking a DUI suspect for sexual favors to have her charges dropped last summer.
Former deputy Bill Miller was sentenced to eight years on probation and banished from the Towaliga Judicial Circuit after pleading guilty to bribery and violation of his oath in Monroe County Superior Court on July 30. He was also fined $2,000.
Miller was fired from the sheriff’s office and charged in August 2018 after a High Falls woman he arrested for DUI recorded him trying to proposition her in exchange for dropping her criminal charges. District attorney Jonathan Adams said that Miller agreed not to plead under the first offender program, which means the conviction will stay on his record so he can never work in law enforcement. Adams said Miller has agreed to move to Pennsylvania.
“Everyone in law enforcement holds themselves to a higher standard,” said Adams. “When they break that oath, the appropriate punishment will be given.”
Miller had been placed on leave after Ashlie Roberts, 33, of High Falls shared audio on her cell phone of Miller telling her he would drop criminal charges if she had sex with him. Then sheriff Al Shackelford called in the GBI to investigate. Miller had started with the sheriff’s office as a jailer in April 2018 and had just begun working on the road in July when the incident happened.
Miller had arrested Roberts for DUI, possession of meth and no tag light on the night of Friday, July 27. The arrest came after Miller pulled Roberts over in her 1992 Chevy S-10 on High Falls Road around 10:22 p.m. Miller’s report said he pulled her over because she had no tag light and was weaving. Miller said he smelled the slight odor of alcohol on Roberts’ breath, and she admitted having a shot two hours before. She blew a .125 on the breathalyzer, above the legal limit for DUI. Roberts also admitted having some meth in her bra, and Miller put her in the front seat of his patrol car so his camera could record her removing the meth from her bra. She was taken to the Monroe County Jail and charged with possession of meth, DUI and tag light violation, with a warning for not having a tag light.
Shackelford said Miller called Roberts the next day, Saturday, July 28, offering to work things out if they could meet. When they met, Roberts recorded the conversation as Miller told her he wanted sex in exchange for dropping the charges.
Roberts first took her recording to investigative reporter Randy Travis with Fox 5 in Atlanta, where she’s from. Travis came to the sheriff’s office to confront Miller with the tape as he showed up for work. That’s when Shackelford learned of the tape and Miller was sent home and soon relieved of his duties.
“We acted within the hour,” said Shackelford, who called in the GBI to investigate along with the sheriff’s office’s own internal affairs officer, Michael Clay.
Shackelford said Miller, who is married and has two children, has worked for the Forsyth Police Department and the Forsyth County and Henry County sheriff’s offices, and that nobody had anything bad to say about him.
“I was shocked, very shocked,” said Shackelford. “He was quiet and thought he did a good job. There’s not a flaw anywhere in his record. [Forsyth police chief] Eddie Harris wanted him back, said he’d hire him back in a minute. This is a shock. It almost puts tears in your eyes.”
While the GBI investigates Miller, Roberts is now in the Fulton County Jail for violating her probation with the DUI and drug charges.
Shackelford said he was disappointed that Travis held onto the tape for a week without letting them know so they could act on it.
“He knew for a week and never said a word to anyone,” said Shackelford. “I think it’s wrong.”