Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered a special election for Jan. 31 after a newly elected state representative was charged with stealing drugs.
Representative-elect Daniel Rampey resigned from the Georgia House of Representatives this week.
Rampey was charged with stealing prescription drugs from an assisted living facility he manages, the Athens Banner-Herald reported in December.
The state legislator-elect was facing more than 19 different felonies, the Washington Examiner reported, citing law enforcement records.
Some of the charges Rampey faced included unauthorized distribution or possession of a controlled substance, burglary and exploitation, and intimidation of disabled adults, elderly persons, and residents, according to the Examiner.
Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith indicated to the outlet that a law enforcement operation had recorded Rampey stealing prescription drugs from the rooms of an assisted living center.
Rampey, 67, had been employed at the Magnolia Estates of Winder Assisted Living Center.
A family member “suspected that some narcotics were missing from [a] resident’s room,” a concern they communicated to Smith’s agency, the Examiner reported.
“We got information from the family that they had set up a recording device and recorded their room as they left, and when they did, they found that Rampey had come into the room unannounced and took some narcotics from a bedside table, which was recorded,” Smith said of the charges.
Rampey never was sworn in as a state representative for Georgia’s District 119.
The Republican had been elected in the November midterm election without opposition on the ballot.
In a statement, Georgia legislative leaders welcomed Rampey’s pre-emptive resignation, as well as Kemp’s move to schedule a special election.
“His withdrawal will ensure his constituents have a voice in this session of the General Assembly after the special election is held,” the outgoing and incoming speakers of the Georgia House said of the events, according to the Banner-Herald.
Rampey could have been suspended from the Georgia General Assembly if he hadn’t resigned his seat before taking office, according to the Albany Herald.
On New Year’s Eve, Kemp signed an executive order scheduling the special election for Rampey’s replacement.