GPD, school officials offer differing accounts of teacher sex crime investigation

Publisher’s Note – It has come to my attention that an article published online Friday, May 19, 2017 – Griffin-Spalding teacher arrested on multiple sex charges – contains factually inaccurate information. This information was obtained directly from Judy Parker, executive director of the Griffin-Spalding County School System Communications and Partnerships Department. This article both corrects the record and details the steps taken by The GRIP to obtain and report factual information in this matter.


The Griffin Police Department is refuting information pertaining to former Griffin High School teacher Brandy Nickels that was provided to The GRIP by Judy Parker, executive director of the Griffin-Spalding County School System Communications and Partnerships Department.

In a Friday, May 19 interview, Parker said, “We got information from an adult. I’m not sure how the adult got that information, but an adult gave us some information and we decided to follow up on it immediately.”

She also stated, “We got the information, we began the investigation, we called the police, you know also and she resigned immediately, so then we were kind of out of it because she resigned. It’s all the police now…..”

In addition, when asked during that interview if this incident involved one or multiple students, Parker responded, “Oh, I don’t know.”

However, The GRIP on Saturday obtained information confirmed Monday by the Griffin Police Department that leave the sequence of events and some details described by Parker in question.

Contrary to Parker’s statement that she was uncertain how the adult reporter had obtained the information about Nickels, school officials were aware of how that occurred.

The notification provided to the school system was precipitated by a traffic stop conducted by Master Patrol Officer (MPO) Kaylen Krueger, who on Tuesday, May 16, stopped the vehicle driven by Nickels. Present in her vehicle were multiple male juveniles who are unrelated to Nickels.

According to Lt. Mike Natale, of the GPD Office of the Chief, school officials were notified of the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop.

“The traffic stop happened and as a result of the traffic stop, the officer thought it was suspicious. Then they called in the investigator,” he said.

When asked why Krueger contacted the GPD Criminal Investigation Division at the time of the traffic stop, Natale said, “Because of the fact the teacher had students in the car and she said they were just riding around. He (Investigator Dexter McCune) said while dealing with Nickels and the juveniles, the parents of two juveniles arrived on the scene and were very upset. The parents stated that they had questioned their son about the relationship between their son and Ms. Nickels, and he said she was cool and that she was only a friend. The parents also that said Ms. Nickels comes to their house several times a week to pick up their son or drop him off and to bring him food. The parents also said that they thought it was sexual. That’s why he (McCune) notified the school board member and then he notified the system.”

Told of Parker’s statement that school officials had reported this teacher to the GPD, Natale said, “No, the other way around,” and that, “We contacted them.”

When The GRIP on Monday contacted Parker for a second follow up interview, Parker maintained the same details provided Friday, May 19.

The GRIP – On Friday and today, you said y’all reported this to the police department.

Parker – Mmmhmm.

The GRIP – According to the police department, they’re the ones who reported it to y’all.

Parker – Okay.

The GRIP – So, I’m just curious because those are two completely different scenarios, so I’m just wondering…

Parker – (Interrupting) No, they’re really not.

The GRIP – Oh, yes, they are.

Parker – Uh, no. What are you looking at? Where did you get the information that the police contacted us?

The GRIP – I got it directly from the Police Department.

Parker – From the police report?

The GRIP – From the police department.

Parker – From the police report?

The GRIP – No, I have not… the police report did not have that information.

Parker – Yes, it does. I’m looking at it.

The GRIP – Okay, well, the version that I, the one I got Friday did not have a narrative, so…

Parker – The one I have says, “At about 2145 hours, I notified a school board member via the phone.

The GRIP – Okay, that is not what I received.

Parker – Yeah, that’s the one I’ve got.

The GRIP – That is not what the media received on Friday, no.

Parker – Well, I can’t. There’s another one that I got this morning and all of that is outlined, so maybe you need to be getting the most updated report.

The interviewed later continued with the following exchange.

The GRIP – The way it’s been presented to the media is that y’all are the ones who made the police aware of what was going on. That’s not the way this happened. This investigation began with the Griffin Police Department.

Parker – Well, if that’s what you think, that’s fine. It was a tip off to us, but we were the ones at the school on Wednesday morning, not the police, to do the investigation.

The GRIP – The police investigation began on Tuesday night. The school system investigation by your statements began Wednesday.

Parker – I don’t see anything that says an investigation. She was released on Tuesday for failure to stop at a red light and left the scene.

The GRIP – The Uniform Patrol Officer, Kaylen Krueger, called Dexter McCune, the investigator on call with the Criminal Investigation Division, who responded to the scene, contacted at least two students’ parents and interviewed them at the scene. You don’t call that an investigation?

Parker – I don’t know. I don’t know what they call it. I only know what we did. We got the information about 10:30 on Tuesday night. We had someone at the school first thing the next morning to do our internal investigation, and what the police were doing until we then contacted and spoke with the police to determine what we thought, based on who we’d talked with….. (trailed off)

The GRIP later interviewed GSCSS Superintendent Jim Smith in an effort to obtain further clarification.

“The way it worked, when the officer called Mr. Holmes after the traffic stop and said I’m suspicious about this what I’m seeing here in the car. You may want to look into that. Mr. Holmes let me know it and then I, the next morning, Wednesday morning, I told Stephanie Dobbins, the HR director about it, and then she went out to Griffin High to begin an internal investigation on that. She reached a point in that investigation when she made the call to the Police Department to begin that consult with them and cooperative part with them, and so, from that point on, we were in constant contact with the Police Department as that progressed along,” Smith said. “I’m not sure what the police did. All that I’m aware of is the traffic stop, the call to Mr. Holmes, the message to me which came in later on that night. I gave it to Ms. Dobbins, she went to the school and then in the course of that, she contacted police to help her with that part of the investigation. Now, what the police were doing on their own from there, I’m not completely sure. That would be a question for them, but yes, the information did come from that stop. We did begin an internal investigation based on what they told us, and then from there, we went back to the police and said this is what we’re seeing and we need to corroborate on this. And that’s not unusual.”

Questioned about the source of the school system’s information, Smith was unable to give immediate clarity regarding the police report cited by Parker.

“I’ve gotten information from the police, but I’m not exactly sure I know what you’re talking about.

We’ve worked with the Chief on this, and I’m not sure if what I’ve got is something that is meant to be public or what information I’ve got. Can I check on what information I’ve got and see what it is? I’m not sure what I’ve got? You’ve got me a little off guard,” Smith said, adding that he would contact the GPD Chief Mike Yates and call back to The GRIP. That Monday call has not yet been returned.

The GRIP has attempted to obtain the police report Parker cited, but city of Griffin officials refused to release it pursuant to an Open Records request citing an ongoing investigation. The GRIP countered that this information has been released to, and is now in the possession of multiple employees of the former employer of a criminal suspect, and should therefore be released to the media.

The city of Griffin did not respond.



  1. School system reps will ALWAYS attempt to lie.

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