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3 Henry County police sergeants demoted after sex scandal

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HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -

Three Henry County police officers have lost their jobs and three others were demoted in the wake of a sex scandal involving a female officer.

The actions against all six came to light following an open records request by the FOX 5 I-Team.

The internal affairs investigation closed nearly a month ago, but authorities refused to release any details because the three officers who were fired are appealing their dismissals. After the I-Team request, the department agreed to make public records showing what the three sergeants did.

According to the files, former Sgt. Eddie Honea admitted that he had sexual contact with a female officer at a Stockbridge cemetery while on duty and also attempted to have sex at a church on Highway 155.

Former Sgt. Paul Danielson called in sick so he could meet the same female cop at a Lithonia hotel.

Former Sgt. Jason Valentine was not involved sexually, but failed to investigate when he heard about the departmental violations.

"A lot of them were off-duty. Some of them were on-duty. But, in our case, in our policy, officers are held to a higher standard. We are considered to be officers 24-7 and we have to uphold that image," said Sgt. Joey Smith of the Henry County Police Department.

The three sergeants were demoted to patrol officers.

"They're officers now and they're working a shift just like anybody else would," said Sgt. Smith.

The firings include the female cop at the center of the sex scandal, plus two others also accused of sexual improprieties with that same female officer.

"The three officers that were terminated had disciplinary actions that led up to that. That, in combination with the current case, is what led up to the termination," Smith said.

In the documents, the sexual activity involving the female officer is described as consensual. She is one of the officers appealing her dismissal.

The sexual activity stretches back years.  In fact, the department says the two sergeants were patrol officers when they were involved with the female officer and not her supervisor at the time of their relationship.

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