Suspended Worth Co. sheriff indicted on charges for influencing witnesses

Suspended Worth Co. sheriff indicted on charges for influencing witnesses
Suspended Sheriff Jeff Hobby was indicted Monday on 16 charges, including influencing witnesses. (Source: Lowndes County Jail)

WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - Suspended Sheriff Jeff Hobby was indicted Monday on 16 charges, including influencing witnesses.

Hobby has been indicted by a Worth County Grand Jury with one count of violation of oath of office, one count of obstruction of an office and 14 counts of influencing a witness.

The original arrest warrants said that Hobby told employees at the sheriff's office to not discuss a controversial search of the Worth County High School with anyone who didn't work at the office. Including the GBI and the DA's office.

The warrants also say Hobby threatened to fire employees if they spoke about it.

He was released the same week on a $31,000 bond after several hours of witness testimony.

MORE ON THIS STORY:
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+Worth Co. High School parents voice concerns at NAACP meeting
+Lawsuit filed against Worth Co. Sheriff's Office for controversial search
+Residents band together to support Sheriff Hobby
+Sylvester-Worth NAACP fall short on Sheriff Hobby recall signatures
+Worth Grand Jury returns six indictments after controversial school search
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This investigation is separate from the ongoing investigation after the controversial drug search in April at Worth County High School.

Governor Nathan Deal suspended Hobby after he was indicted on other charges in October.

Hobby was also arrested after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation over a possible illegal recording device.

According to the Tifton Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office, on February 26, the DA's office was notified of a possible recording device in the attorney-client interview room at the Worth County Jail.

Officials with the DA's office said Hobby is facing one count of violation of oath of office, and the GBI confirmed Hobby faces 66 counts of eavesdropping and surveillance which invades the privacy of another individual in that case.

Hobby had his first appearance Monday morning for that case and was not granted bond.

He remains in the Lowndes County Jail until he can go before Superior court Judge Bill Reinhardt at a later date.

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