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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 6:00am

Juvenile Justice Dept. Hires Chief Investigator

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Avery Niles has hired two people to serve in top positions at the agency.

Department spokesman Jim Shuler said Tuesday that Ricky Rich has been named as the department's new Director of Investigations. Officials say Rich has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience and is a former president of the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police.

His appointment comes after 19 investigators and their supervisor were suspended over unresolved probes into allegations of sexual misconduct at sate youth detention facilities.

Officials say John T. Smith has been named as the agency's Legislative Liaison Director. Smith previously worked with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor as a policy consultant and in external affairs. Smith earned a bachelor of business administration from Georgia State.