Forsyth County Board of Education member Wes McCall resigned as deputy director of the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety on Friday, according to officials.
McCall had been on paid administrative leave with the city of Alpharetta since last week after a complaint was filed with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office naming McCall and a handful of other residents of the Pleasant Manor Estates subdivision in Forsyth County alleging that the group had committed “unlawful acts eavesdropping or surveillance.”
The Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that the group including McCall would not face criminal charges, but McCall remained on paid administrative leave while the city of Alpharetta conducted an internal investigation.
Alpharetta Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard said “the city has ceased its internal investigation” after McCall resigned and declined further comment.
McCall was one of a handful of people named in a Sheriff’s Office incident report filed Monday, June 3, who were alleged to have gained access to the social media accounts of Pleasant Manor residents, took images from the accounts, manipulated them and shared and commented about them in the group text, the report said.
Ralph Richards, a resident in Pleasant Manor and a complainant, according to the report, told the FCN that he was shown several images in the group text by a fellow complainant. As many as six featured his head taken from photos on his Facebook account that were edited onto “lewd and pornographic images,” Richards said.
“Of course, I was stunned,” Richards said. “I was shocked.”
Richards said he felt the actions by the members of the group text broke the law. After their investigation, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Wednesday, June 12, that “no violation of Georgia criminal law occurred” by individuals named in the incident report, including McCall.
Richards said he didn’t know the extent of McCall’s involvement in the group text but felt that McCall should have spoken up against the alleged behavior considering his elected and professional positions in Forsyth County and Alpharetta.
“He is supposed to be leading by example,” Richards said.
When asked about the incident, McCall told the FCN that he knew the members of the group text “have been friends for years” and “that’s about it.” He said he “cannot confirm” that he knew of the alleged lewd images.
In a statement to the FCN, McCall apologized “for all of this attention brought to the communities in which I serve.”
“As you are aware, The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has investigated allegations made against a group of people that included me, and have found them to be unsubstantiated,” McCall added. “...I look forward to the opportunities that I will have in the future because I care about our community, and I am committed to building trust and relationships.
“We want to thank everyone for the messages and phone calls showing support, prayers and kind words of encouragement.”
McCall joined the city of Alpharetta’s fire department as a firefighter in 1998. He rose through the ranks to eventually become deputy director of public safety in 2014 after the city of Alpharetta consolidated its fire and police departments. This past December, McCall was recognized for 20 years of service with the city of Alpharetta, according to personnel records.
McCall and his family moved to Forsyth County in 2002. He ran for the Forsyth County Board of Education in 2018 and edged opponent Mark Weiss in the Republican primary for the District 1 seat in May, replacing longtime member Ann Crow, who retired after 16 years.
McCall remains an active member of the school board, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, director of communications with Forsyth County Schools.