GPD lieutenant placed on unpaid admin leave as IA investigation of leaked recording continues

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Lt. Chris Wilson, of the Griffin Police Department, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

This disciplinary action follows the initiation of an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation related to an audio recording purportedly made during a meeting involving Wilson and GPD Chief Mike Yates.

When asked to confirm information The GRIP received citing a requirement that Wilson undergo a psychological evaluation, Griffin City Manager Jessica O’Connor said, “I can’t talk about that at this time.”

O’Connor said she has reviewed the original file – said to be about five-inches thick – that was turned over to her office but confirmed the IA investigation is ongoing.

“I actually have sent it back to ask for more information,” she said. “I have questions that were not answered within that documentation.”

She did confirm the investigation is limited to Wilson; Yates is not a subject of that specific investigation.

Asked if it has been determined that Yates did not violate any city of Griffin personnel policies, O’Connor said, “I’m not going to answer that question at this time.”

When The GRIP inquired if the GPD IA case is the only investigation being conducted, O’Connor stated, “I’m not going to answer that question at this time, either.”

O’Connor also did not say whether anyone other than Wilson has received disciplinary action resulting from the recording’s contents.

“I’m not going to answer that question at this time, either,” she said. “I’m sorry to not be able to do so, but it’s still an ongoing investigation.”

O’Connor did confirm the IA investigation is being conducted under Garrity, which requires Wilson’s cooperation without legal representation.

She said Wilson is cooperating, but she is uncertain if he had been asked to authenticate the recording released on Facebook Dec. 8.

“I don’t know if that particular question was asked in that interview,” she said.

O’Connor then clarified that authentication of the audio recording is not an issue at hand in the IA investigation.

“The question I think everyone assumes is whether or not what is on Facebook is authentic. To us, as an organization, it’s not,” she said. “It’s whether a recording was made at all.”

When asked if the content of the recording is a concern to her as the city manager, O’Connor said, “I’m not going to comment on that at this time.”

She said she is hopeful the investigation will be completed by the end of the first full week in January.

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