Former Thomasville mayor reaches plea agreement ahead of trial

Former Thomasville mayor reaches plea agreement ahead of trial

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Former Thomasville Mayor Greg Hobbs has reached a plea agreement after he was indicted on six charges earlier this year, according to District Attorney Brad Shealy.

Shealy told WALB that Hobbs will plead “nolo contendere” to false report of a crime and making a false statement. Nole contendere means no contest.

Hobbs was set to go to trial Monday for false report of a crime, three counts of violation of oath by public officer and two counts of making a false statement. However, because of this plea agreement, Hobbs will only be sentenced for the two counts and the other four will be dismissed.

This all started in 2018 after the Thomasville police chief and seven other police officers sought $1 million in damages from the City of Thomasville.

According to a letter, the group accused Hobbs of abusing his power and violating Georgia’s Whistleblower Protection Act.

After that document came to light, another 60 page document came out from Attorney David Archer that he was representing the Thomasville Police Department in a lawsuit against the Thomasville City Council and Hobbs.

In June 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested to start an investigation by the Thomas County District Attorney’s Office into claims that two city employees had forged Hobbs’ signature.

Specifically, the investigation was into “financial documents that allegedly had the signature of Thomasville Mayor Greg Hobbs forged on them,” Jamy Steinberg, GBI special agent in charge, said in a release.

The GBI investigation began and interviews were done with those identified as possibly being involved. Original documents obtained during the investigation were sent to the FBI Crime Lab, questioned documents section for comparison and analysis. Once those results were received, the completed investigation was provided to DA Brad Shealy for his review and any action he deemed appropriate.
Jamy Steinberg, GBI Special Agent in Charge

Steinberg said the decision to present the case to a Thomas County grand jury was made Feb. 4.

Two weeks after Hobbs was indicted, Attorney Chris Cohilas, who was representing a few concerned Thomasville residents, requested Thomas County’s district attorney, Georgia’s attorney general and the GBI director to launch an investigation into what they said are Hobbs and Councilman David Hufstetler’s continued abuses of power.

After Hobbs was indicted, Gov. Brian Kemp issued a suspension for the mayor.

Later, Hobbs filed a suit against the city, claiming he is owed $42,704.00, plus attorney fees and costs and that he and other councilmen were underpaid for years by the city.

In his plea agreement, qualified for first offender treatment and will serve 12 months of probation on each count, pay a $1,000 fine for each of the two counts, serve 24 hours of community service for each count and with all sentencing to run concurrently.

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