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"God was with us that he didn't run into somebody or kill (himself)," said Lincoln Co. Sheriff Gerald Lawson.

Lawson learned of the investigation from watching News 12. He says background checks when Harwell was hired in 2007 were clean. The POST investigation began eight months later, but Lawson says he wasn't notified.

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Deputy Harwell was involved in a traffic stop in December 2008 in which my step son, Pernell Marshall, was a passenger in the vehicle that ultimately crashed and killed Pernell. After all of the relevant facts that have come out about Deputy Harwell and his background in law enforcement, it is concerning that he was ever hired as a deputy with Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. We have to believe that if the Sheriff had done a background check and followed policy, Deputy Harwell should have never been hired Nike Vapormax Olive

We believe that the actions of the sheriff are just him protecting his own. Deputy Harwell wasn't even arrested for DUI and was allowed to receive treatment at MCG for his self ingested drug of choice and released. Now he is suspended from the department with pay which is nothing more than a vacation."

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He previously worked for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and MCG Police, where he was terminated for failing drug tests. He tested positive for or admitted to taking amphetamines, including his daughter's Aderral, for which he did not have a prescription, and oxycontin, among others. report.

POST tells 12 on your side it took a year to handle Harwell's case on their end because budget cuts have left them short staffed. Powell says his division is down three full time officers, leaving the remaining eight member staff with an overwhelming caseload.

Georgia POST (Police Officers Standards and Training Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit All Red Council) spokesperson, Ryan Powell, tells News 12 the organization was first made aware of his troubles almost three years ago.

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The victim's family in the 2008 crash released a statement to News 12 on the situation. Here's what Pernell Marshall's stepmother Sandra Norman wrote to News 12:

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Adds Lawson: "There seems to be a breakdown in communication, and one that I know that I'm gonna be raising an issue about at the proper time with the proper people."

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office retrieved the patrol car from Augusta and has since placed Harwell on suspension pending an investigation.

Harwell then went on to work for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and was involved in a deadly chase. He's being sued right now for his involvement in that crash by the victim's family. That deadly crash was 6 months after POST recommended his certification be revoked.

and therefore my step son would still be alive. Pernell was a family oriented man and a father of three young children.

also disturbed to hear that he was in his Lincoln County patrol car. As a taxpayer of Lincoln County, we are confused as to why we are paying for Mr. Harwell's travel out of the county.

12 On Your Side found this is not Harwell's first time being accused of using prescription drugs while on the job, or while using county issued equipment. Harwell has been working in law enforcement since 1989.

Harwell now faces the DUI charge from this weekend.

AUGUSTA, Ga. News 12 is learning more about Lincoln County Deputy Charles Harwell's documented troubles with prescription drug abuse after he was arrested for driving under the influence in his patrol car this weekend.

They were notified in July of 2008 that Harwell had failed a drug screening while working in law enforcement.

"We are very saddened and upset to learn that an officer with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office was arrested for DUI this weekend while in Richmond County. We were Nike Vapormax Off White Price

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Deputies tell News 12 a citizen reported seeing Harwell weaving in and out of traffic on Bobby Jones Expressway near Deans Bridge Road around 3:15 Saturday morning. Harwell claimed he was having medical trouble. The DUI task force responded and say they believe he was driving under the influence of drugs. He was charged and taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

Georgia POST says Harwell appealed the decision and the case has sat in the state Attorney General's Office since 2009. No final ruling from the Attorney General's Office has been given in the last two years.

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News 12 is still trying to get with the Attorney General's office to see why Harwell was still a certified law enforcement officer despite the recommendation from post two years ago.

Sheriff Lawson says he did what he could and the background check revealed nothing.

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"Great reporting by yourself and Channel 12 the way I found out about it," he said. "Nobody had Nike Vapormax Plum Fog/Elemental Rose/Particle Rose/Plum Fog

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Yet Powell, in the POST investigation writes, "However, any agency doing a thorough background check will surely find out about this and shouldn't hire him."

Harwell didn't show up to a scheduled meeting with Sheriff Lawson on his future in Lincoln County. He's also a police officer part time with the Lincolnton Police Department. Chief Jim Justice did not get back to us as of news time.

'Breakdown in communication' blamed for arrested deputy's continued work history

Powell says in June of 2009, POST recommended Harwell's law enforcement certification be revoked.

told me, I haven't received anything over email, telephone, that one of my deputies had a prior post investigation going off."

"There's just no way to deal with those in a manner that may be expected of us. We wish we could," said Powell.

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