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A newly-elected Georgia state representative was arrested and charged with 19 felony counts related to stealing narcotics from a retirement home.
Daniel Rampey, manager of operations at a family-owned assisted living facility called Magnolia Estates of Winder Assisted Living Center, was elected to represent Georgia’s District 116 state House seat in November 2022.
He won the Republican primary and went on to secure the state House seat without opposition in November.
The facility where he worked offers assisted living and short-term respite care which sometimes included the use of narcotics and other medications.
Rampey was charged with 19 felony counts including unauthorized distribution or possession of a controlled substance, burglary and exploitation, and intimidation of disabled adults, elderly persons, and residents.
Family members of patients and residents at the facility had their suspicions about missing narcotics.
Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith’s office received a call from a family member of one of the assisted living center residents. The family notified the sheriff’s office of possible theft.
Smith said, “They had suspected that some narcotics were missing from the resident’s room.”
The family had “set up a recording device and recorded their room as they left, and when they did, they found that Rampey had come into the room unannounced and took some narcotics from a bedside table, which was recorded.”
After receiving this information, the law enforcement officers set up a similar sting operation and caught Rampey red-handed.
Smith said, “We had a couple of instances of him on video taking the items and today we had one as well. We actually filmed him going into the residence and taking the items.”
According to Online Athens, “The stolen drugs involved prescription narcotics.”
“The residence burglarized was a villa, separate from the main complex, on the Magnolia Estates property.”
The governor of Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp signed an order to set up a special election to fill the seat left vacant after Rampey stepped down following his arrest.
The special election will be held on January 31, 2023.
In a joint statement, State House Speaker Jan Jones (R) and Speaker-nominee Jon Burns (R) said, “His withdrawal will ensure his constituents have a voice in this session of the General Assembly after the special election is held.”
This comes after rumors that Rampey was pressured to step down rather than face suspension if he took office when Georgia’s new House convenes next week.
The Chairman of the Georgia Senate Democrats said in a tweet, “Thankfully, Mr. Rampey has made the proper decision and is stepping aside. His constituents deserve better. #gapol”
Republicans are looking to fill the seat with another GOP candidate.
Georgia’s Republican Party is enjoying the red wave that continues in the state. The GOP holds the governor’s seat, secretary of state, attorney general, state senate, and state house.
Republicans have enjoyed control of the “trifecta” – governor, House, and Senate – since 2005.