Suspended GA sheriff indicted on 90 counts after eavesdropping investigation

Suspended GA sheriff indicted on 90 counts after eavesdropping investigation
Suspended Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby remains in jail after bond was denied following his third arrest. (Source: WALB)

WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - The suspended Worth County Sheriff, Jeff Hobby, has been indicted on 90 charges by a grand jury for his role in an eavesdropping investigation.

Hobby was indicted Tuesday for one count of violation of oath of office and 89 total counts of invasion of privacy.

He was arrested after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation over a possible illegal recording device in the attorney-client interview room at the Worth County Jail. He turned himself in on March 8 after warrants were taken for incidents between July 13, 2017 and February 26, 2018.

A report from the District Attorney's office says the device was installed at the direction of Hobby.


A lawsuit was filed against the Worth County Sheriff's Office after a controversial search of nearly 900 students at Worth County High that claimed Hobby had a "target list" with 13 students suspected of having drugs in April of 2017.

Hobby, along with two of his deputies, were indicted in October of the same year on criminal charges for that case.

The warrants in that case said that Hobby told employees at the sheriff's office to not discuss the search with anyone who didn't work there. Including the GBI and the DA's office.

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

Although he is being held in the Lowndes County Jail, Hobby still holds the office of sheriff of Worth County, and is still being paid his salary.

In November of 2107, Governor Nathan Deal suspended Hobby's duties, and appointed interim Sheriff Bobby Sapp, who later stepped down, citing health reasons. The governor then appointed retired Georgia State Trooper Donald Whitaker to run the sheriff's office.

Governor Deal can remove Hobby from the office, and call for a special election. The regular election is scheduled for 2020.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.