Jay Space Arrested

Effingham County sheriff Jay Space is facing criminal charges tonight. WTOC has learned that GBI agents arrested Space earlier this afternoon, several weeks after his suspension. He's already posted bond and is out of jail. The charges come from an investigation into his ability to serve as sheriff.

Wednesday morning, the Effingham County district attorney filed a petition to make Space's suspension permanent. The 17-page petition documents two years of activities by Sheriff Space and alleges multiple crimes. The petition includes more than 20 charges that Space had possesion of prescription drugs that weren't prescribed to him, a felony under Georgia law.

There are also 15 counts involving Space driving dangerously on Georgia roads, including one incident in which Sheriff Space was pulled over by a Pt. Wentworth police officer, who clocked him at 78 miles per hour in a 45 zone in April of this year. Space opened the door of the officer's cruiser and used vulgar language, asking, "Do you know who I am? I an Effingham County elected official." As a result of the altercation, a supervisor for Pt. Wentworth was called to the scene. Space was only given a warning.

The petition also includes several other counts of questionable behavior by Space, though the district attorney's office can't comment on the petition's details, it says the information in the petition could very well lead to a criminal investigation.

A spokesperson for Jay Space told WTOC he could not comment on legal matters at this time.

Reported by: Elizabeth Trevino