Griffin PD’s bias against The GRIP confirmed; “aggressive” news gathering identified as cause

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: After years of denying The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews’ assertions that she has been subjected to unequal, detrimental treatment by Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates, former City Manager Kenny Smith acknowledged a “difference” in her professional relationship with the Griffin Police Department. The November 2020 meeting during which these statements […]

City pursuing Facebook subpoena related to deletion of Griffin PD press release

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin is inquiring into the removal of a press release from the official City of Griffin Police Department Facebook page. Officials say they will be looking into the possibility of fraudulent use of the GPD social media account. The press release, posted Thursday, Feb. 24, was related to […]

BREAKING NEWS: GBI investigating allegation of missing funds from Griffin Golf Course

STAFF REPORT ::: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating an allegation of missing deposits from the Griffin Golf Course. An “internal source” reported the missing deposits to the office of City Manager Jessica O’Connor on Feb. 11, 2022. Authorities say O’Connor immediately opened an internal investigation. The GBI was subsequently asked to assume that […]

EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION: GPD Crime Lab and evidence room compromised by security breach

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: On Thursday morning, the Griffin Police Department (GPD) issued a press release regarding the security breach that is the subject of this investigative report.The GRIP has been investigating this incident for nearly two weeks and has obtained information you will not find in the GPD press release. This article will also disclose additional […]

Griffin PD lieutenant fired for recording meeting with Police Chief Mike Yates

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin internal investigation of an audio recording of a meeting involving Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates and Lt. Chris Wilson has concluded and resulted in Wilson’s termination. Wilson, a nearly 15-year veteran of the Griffin Police Department and member of Yates’ command staff when the meeting was […]

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 […]

GPD Chief Yates says audio recording now part of Internal Affairs investigation has been altered

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Griffin City Manager Jessica O’Connor on Monday confirmed the city is investigating an audio recording posted last week on social media that purportedly represents a meeting involving Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates and Lt. Chris Wilson, a member of Yates’s command staff. The recording was posted to the personal Facebook […]

Hawbaker pleads guilty to five counts of aggravated assault against a peace officer

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Don Hawbaker, who has been held without bond in the Spalding County Jail without bond since Feb. 4, 2020, today accepted a guilty plea to five counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer. The guilty plea was accepted by Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Scott Ballard. Hawbaker was on […]

BoC announces finalists for Spalding County manager

STAFF REPORT ::: Two finalists have been announced for the position of Spalding County manager to replace William Wilson, who will retire at the end of June after 35 years of service. The Spalding County Board of Commissioners on Monday conducted interviews with candidates and the two finalists have been identified as Jarvis Sims and […]

Former Griffin Central Services director, Motor Fleet manager face felony charges: GBI

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Phill Francis, former city of Griffin Central Services director, and Stevie Williams, former Griffin Motor Pool director, have been named in multiple felony arrest warrants obtained by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Altogether, Francis faces five felony counts and Williams stands accused of two felonies. According to the arrest warrants obtained […]

BREAKING NEWS: GBI charging former city of Griffin employees with multiple thefts

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The GRIP has confirmed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has obtained multiple arrest warrants against former city of Griffin employees Phill Francis and Stevie Williams. Authorities say the arrest warrants relate to crimes committed as employees of the city of Griffin. Francis served as director of Central Services and Williams was […]

Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards stepped down from bench today

STAFF REPORT ::: Griffin Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher Charles Edwards met today with Governor Brian Kemp to announce his resignation from the bench. Edwards held the bench for 22 years. He will now resume a private law practice. “Serving the people of Georgia these past two decades has been the great honor […]

Spalding County Manager William Wilson announces retirement effective June 30

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Spalding County Manager William Wilson has announced his retirement, which will be effective June 30. A comprehensive report on this announcement will be forthcoming. Please consider financially supporting The GRIP.The news you find in The GRIP is free for all. You’ll never be hindered by a paywall or limited to only […]

BREAKING NEWS: Violations of election law or rules alleged against election supervisors, present and past, and BoE

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The Georgia Board of Elections has forwarded to the Attorney General Chris Carr a report alleging violations of election law or rules by Spalding County Election Supervisor Marcia Ridley, Terry Colling, who held the supervisor’s position prior to Ridley, and the Spalding County Board of Elections and Registration. The report, issued […]

New partnership will bring high-speed internet to 18 middle-Georgia counties

STAFF REPORT ::: Spalding, Pike, Lamar and Upson counties are among those that will benefit from a new partnership that will invest more than $210 million to provide high-speed internet to 18 middle-Georgia counties. Announced today, the partnership includes Central Georgia EMC in Jackson and Southern Rivers Energy in Barnesville who will form a new […]