A former Forsyth County employee who was charged with driving under the influence after officials say he struck a Georgia State Patrol Trooper with his BMW Monday morning previously served probation for drug charges out of Fulton County, according to records.
David Michael Sommer, 44, a former meter reader for the Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department, tendered his resignation Tuesday afternoon, which was later accepted and is effective immediately, according to County Spokeswoman Jodi Gardner.
Sommer had worked for the county since October 2014, though he was previously employed by Forsyth County in the 1990s.
At that time he served as a deputy for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Gardner did not readily have those dates of employment.
Sommer’s resignation comes in the wake of a DUI charge that stemmed from an early morning incident Nov. 6, when his vehicle allegedly struck 35-year-old GSP Trooper Aaron Degourville, who was directing traffic on Hwy. 369, west of Bannister Road in north Forsyth, according to GSP spokeswoman Robin Stone.
“The Georgia trooper was in the eastbound lane directing traffic while wearing his reflective traffic vest [when] the eastbound BMW struck the trooper, which resulted in serious injuries,” she said. “The driver of the BMW was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.”
Degourville was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery. His left leg was broken between the ankle and knee as a result of the crash.
According to court records, Sommer was previously convicted of DUI, speeding and failure to appear/bench warrant, all misdemeanors, stemming from a Jan. 29, 2004 incident in Forsyth County.
He served one day in jail for that charge.
He was also previously arrested in Fulton County and charged with possession of MDMA – a more potent form of the drug commonly known as Ecstasy – with intent to distribute, a felony, stemming from a Feb. 12, 2002 event.
In April 2006, he pled down the charge, ultimately agreeing to serve five years’ probation, perform community service, submit to random drug screens and complete the “drug dealer’s re-education course” while maintaining employment, Fulton County court records show.
Gardner told FCN that prior to an offer of employment, the county conducts both a county and state criminal background check and that if an applicant is applying for a position in which they would be operating a county vehicle, the county would also obtain a motor vehicle record on the individual.
“If, through those screening processes, an applicant is shown to have a misdemeanor or felony on their record, the Personnel Services Department examines their application to review the applicant’s responses to questions about past charges,” she said. “If an applicant was untruthful about the past charges on their application, they would not be eligible for hire. If an applicant was truthful about a past misdemeanor charge, they would remain eligible for hire. If an applicant was truthful about a past felony charge, the matter is looked at closely to determine whether or not the applicant remains eligible for hire.”
Gardner stressed applicants’ backgrounds are looked at on a case-by-case basis.
“With any past charges that are found during the background check process, the county carefully considers the type of incident and how it relates to the specific position for which they are applying,” she said. “In the case of Mr. Sommer, the county cannot discuss the results of his employee-related background check, but we can confirm that the county’s normal screening policies were observed, all required assessments were undertaken and the county appropriately considered this individual for employment pursuant to our written policies.”