Association wants governor to investigate Middle GA sheriff over sexual battery allegations

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association has asked Gov. Brian Kemp to appoint a committee to investigate allegations of sexual battery against a middle Georgia sheriff accused of inappropriately touching former TV Judge Glenda Hatchett in January.

Cobb County police charged Bleckley County Sheriff Kris Coody with misdemeanor sexual battery after an encounter at a hotel bar back in January during another sheriffs’ association conference.

Witnesses, including former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown, said Coody inappropriately groped Hatchett during the incident.

“She was here as my guest,” Brown told Channel 2 Action News in May. “I was very upset. I would say mad.”

The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association’s Board of Directors Friday unanimously agreed to send Kemp a letter asking him to appoint two sheriffs and a representative from the attorney general’s office to investigate the allegations.

If he does, and that committee recommends suspension, Kemp could suspend Coody for up to 90 days.


“We looked at the case,” said incoming association president Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie of Effingham County. “We got together as a board of directors, and it was a unanimous decision. We sent a letter to the governor. Anytime you got a sheriff charged with something, you want to get the best information on both sides of it. So it’s a good opportunity for the governor to have somebody investigate it on the other side to see what actually happened, what took place.”

The governor’s office acknowledged it received the letter.

“We’re in receipt of the letter from the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, and the matter is under review,” the office wrote in a statement.

Kemp has temporarily suspended sheriffs after committee recommendations before.

He placed Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill and former DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann on suspension.