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Body Searching 900 Students Could Cost Sheriff His Badge

Body Searching 900 Students Could Cost Sheriff His Badge
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By    |   Monday, 09 October 2017 04:48 AM

Body searches of roughly 900 students at a Georgia school in April has led to the Sheriff Jeff Hobby and two deputies being indicted by a grand jury and could eventually cost him his badge.

On April 14, Hobby ordered a drug sweep at Worth County High School where 40 uniformed officers searched all of its students and their cellphones taken without a warrant, The Washington Post reported.

Despite the massive search, no drugs were found and only three of the 12 suspected drug users attended school that day, the Post wrote.

In a statement released days after the search, Hobby said he received information from citizens about illegal drugs at the school, according to WALB-TV. Hobby said in the statement that he informed the school district's superintendent and the school's principal before the raid, and they agreed with the pat down.

Hobby acknowledged in the statement that at the time he learned that one deputy went beyond the instructed basic and nonintrusive pat down and corrective action was taken.

A Worth County grand jury, though, returned indictments in connection with the raid, charging Hobby with one count of violating his oath of office, two counts of false imprisonment, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of sexual battery, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

The newspaper added that the grand jury also indicted Deputy Tyler Turner on one felony count of violation of his oath of office and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery, and Deputy Deidra Whiddon with one felony count of violation of her oath of office.

Worth County district attorney Paul Bowden wanted charges brought against five deputies along with the sheriff after presenting a 36-count indictment to the grand jury, the Journal-Constitution wrote. The body cleared officers on 24 counts and tabled six other charges.

Bowden told the newspaper that he was preparing to send the indictment and a summary of the charges against Hobby to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who would have the power to suspend him.

The Journal-Constitution said the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council has already taken emergency action to suspend the sheriff's law enforcement certification in connection with the indictment.

In June, nine students filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Hobby, charging they were subjected in invasive searches, noted the newspaper.

The sheriff's attorney Norman Crowe Jr. said while Hobby attended the search, he did not physically touch any students and committed no crime, the Journal-Constitution reported.

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Body searches of roughly 900 students at a Georgia school in April has led to the Sheriff Jeff Hobby and two deputies being indicted by a grand jury and could eventually cost him his badge.
body, searches, students, sheriff
410
2017-48-09
Monday, 09 October 2017 04:48 AM
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