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Cobb County firefighters, police officer under investigation for steroid use

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Updated: 7/03/2013 9:25 am
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Five firefighters and an officer in Cobb County are under investigation, accused of using steroids to bulk up.

Investigators told WSB Channel 2's Ross Cavitt the information came from the county's drug unit, and dates back three years.

If the investigation does implicate any public service personnel, they may lose their jobs but they may not go to court.

Although firefighters and police, like all county employees, are subject to random drug-testing, county officials told Cavitt no one tested positive for steroids.

But for several weeks now investigators said they have been looking into information stating some firefighters and at least one police officer dabbled in steroids back in 2010.

"Really the issue for us is, it's not supposed to be in your system. You need to abide by the rules both on duty and off duty, and so for the safety of our citizens and for other employees we want to make sure that we have a good handle on this," said Robert Quigley, Cobb County spokesman.

The internal investigation implicated five firefighters. One has resigned, three are now on administrative leave, and one remains on duty. One police officer, a seven-year veteran, resigned after the start of the investigation.

Steroids are a controlled substance, but those under internal investigation may never face criminal charges.

"We're looking at this from the employer-employee perspective," Quigley said.

"So if you're under threat of losing your job, if you don't cooperate, it's not a voluntary statement," said defense attorney and former cop Phil Holloway.

Holloway said a long-standing Supreme Court ruling in the case of Garrity vs. New Jersey keeps statements made to internal affairs investigators off limits to criminal prosecutors.

"It protects them and it protects their Fifth Amendment rights," Holloway said.

Cobb County investigators said their investigation will likely last another few weeks.

Video: WSB Atlanta
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