Corruption in DeKalb is nothing new—remember Pat Jarvis?

The former Atlanta Braves pitcher pleaded guilty to mail fraud

0315_90s_pjarvis_oneuseonlyDuring his seven-year stint as an Atlanta Braves pitcher, Pat Jarvis won 83 games and earned the nickname “Little Bulldog” for his compact frame and gutsy competitiveness. He retired in 1974 and two years later transitioned to political infields, winning election as sheriff of DeKalb County, which already had a reputation as a swamp of corruption. In 1972 Sheriff J. Lamar Martin was convicted of bribery. Jarvis succeeded Ray Bonner—indicted (later cleared) on charges of misrepresenting a fundraising company.

Sheriff for 19 years, Jarvis scored wins (opening the mammoth jail) and earned questionable calls (an ethics investigation). He resigned in 1995; a year later federal prosecutors began probing his actions behind the badge. Their findings: Jarvis had pocketed as much as $200,000 in kickbacks. He ultimately pleaded guilty to mail fraud and in 1999 began serving a 15-month federal prison sentence.

Today Jarvis, 74, lives on a 44-acre farm near Rutledge and is focused on new ventures—a farmers market and restaurant. He remains upbeat: “My whole career in Atlanta has been fantastic.”

Jarvis would turn out to be the least infamous of DeKalb’s incarcerated ex-sheriffs. In 2007 Sidney Dorsey was sentenced to life plus 23 years for ordering the murder of Derwin Brown, who’d beat him in a runoff.

Back to the 90s

This article originally appeared in our March 2015 issue.