Georgia Sheriff in School Search Case Faces New Charges of Obstruction

Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby faces new charges this week related to the bizarre case where he ordered his deputies to carry out a massive drug search that violated the constitutional rights of hundreds of high school students in south Georgia.

The new charges filed Monday come two months after a Worth County grand jury indicted the sheriff on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of oath of office related to the search he ordered in April where his deputies carried out invasive body searches of an entire local high school.

The latest charges accuse Hobby of interfering with the GBI’s criminal investigation in the case. Hobby is charged with interfering with witnesses, obstruction of justice and violation of oath of office. The warrants say Hobby told his employees at the sheriff’s office not to talk about the case with GBI investigators or the local district attorney’s office as they were investigating last summer.

The warrant said he threatened to fire his employees if they talked to investigators. Hobby in October was also accused of interfering with a GBI investigation into a separate case involving a drug arrest of his teenage son.

Gov. Nathan Deal suspended Hobby last month, pending the outcome of the criminal charges related to the high school search.