Ex-Georgia Sheriff Quits State Post After Ku Klux Klan Photo Resurfaces

Former Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison said the last time the photo emerged that it was a Halloween costume he wore in his 20s.

A former Georgia sheriff has resigned a state position after a photo of him appearing in the robes of the Ku Klux Klan surfaced — again.

Roger Garrison, who was sheriff of Cherokee County for 20 years until 2016, resigned earlier this week from the investigation panel of the watchdog Judicial Qualifications Commission, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was appointed Aug. 19.

“Sheriff Garrison has resigned from the JQC,” a spokesperson for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R) told the newspaper. “The speaker will appoint a replacement as soon as practical.” No other details were offered.

The decades-old photo of Garrison and a friend, both in KKK robes and drinking beer, sparked controversy when it first surfaced in 2012.

Garrison said at the time that it was a Halloween costume he wore at a party in his 20s and that he had no affiliation with the white supremacy group. He said that he and a pal were depicting a scene from the Mel Brooks satire “Blazing Saddles.”

“I don’t deny it wasn’t stupid, looking back now,” Garrison said then. “But there again I say, ‘What 21- or 22-year-old in this world hasn’t made some stupid mistakes?’”

“I would just ask that they look at my honor and my integrity and the things we’ve done for this Sheriff’s Office,” he said.