City of Griffin non-compliant with Open Records Act

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Despite complying with demands from the city of Griffin requiring prepayment of estimated charges for Open Records requests, public records are still not being produced within the parameters of the law. The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews on Wednesday, Oct. 3, paid $107.33 in estimated charges for four such requests. Responsive records […]

City of Griffin reverses decision denying Open Records to The GRIP

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin (CoG) has reversed its previous position of refusing to produce public records pursuant to Open Records requests submitted by The GRIP. The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews had been notified that responses to Open Records requests would not be forthcoming until $523.40 in alleged arrears for prior Open […]

GPD releases citizens’ personal Facebook records

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The Griffin Police Department has released personal messages from the Facebook account of Will Holloway Sanders and three other individuals. This followed a public statement directed solely to Sanders that was allegedly made by GPD Chief Mike Yates. “Mr. Sanders, The police department and myself have been the subject of numerous […]

City of Griffin refusing to release public records to The GRIP

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin is refusing to release public records to The GRIP. After filing formal complaints with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office alleging the city of Griffin has violated numerous provisions of the Open Records Act, The GRIP received notification from Griffin Chief of Staff Jessica Whatley-O’Connor stating access to […]

Former GPD officer’s pre-hire tests raised concerns

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Pre-employment testing records for former GPD Officer Tyler Cooper indicate some portions raised questions regarding whether he should have been hired to police the city of Griffin. As part of the hiring process, the GPD administers an examination called the Personnel Evaluation Profile (PEP), which is commonly referred to as a […]

City of Griffin releases records to The GRIP after seven-month dispute

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: After refusing since Feb. 3 to produce certain personnel records sought in an Open Records request submitted by The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews, the city of Griffin on Sept. 1 reversed that long held decision and released the exempted documents. At the crux of the dispute were the pre-employment computer voice […]

Former GPD officer “showed deception” on every question in pre-employment computer voice stress analysis

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The GRIP has learned that Tyler Cooper, a former officer of the Griffin Police Department, indicated deception on every question asked during his preemployment computer voice stress analysis (CVSA) – a form of polygraph examination. Although the city of Griffin has for nearly seven months refused to release Cooper’s CVSA, The […]

GPD confirms second officer under investigation

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The GRIP has confirmed that Sgt. Dwayne Hancock, of the Griffin Police Department, is the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation. This follows a report two days ago that Lt. Curtis Keys is under formal investigation. Upon receiving information pertaining to this investigation, an Open Records request was submitted to the […]

City manager responds to Open Records stand off

Publisher’s note: In response to an article that appeared in the June 8, 2017, print edition of The GRIP – City of Griffin, GPD Chief Yates refuse release of records; Records denied on officer who resigned in lieu of termination – Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith wrote the following letter to the editor, which was […]

City of Griffin, GPD Chief Yates refuse to release records on officer allowed to resign in lieu of termination

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin and Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates are refusing to release for review certain records pertaining to Tyler Cooper, formerly of the GPD, that were requested by The GRIP under the Georgia Open Records Act. The original request was made Feb. 3, and repeated efforts to obtain […]

Law enforcement videos now more expensive to obtain

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: At a time when increasing numbers of law enforcement agencies – including the Griffin Police Department – are implementing the use of body worn cameras (BWCs), Georgia lawmakers have enacted new legislation making it more costly to obtain the interactions the video recordings these and others devices document. The legislation – […]

County BoC to request Attorney General’s Office investigate Sheriff’s Office’s Open Records actions

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The Spalding County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved by a 4-0 vote a motion to request an investigation by the Georgia Attorney General’s Office to determine whether the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office violated Georgia’s Open Records Act following its administrative Internal Affairs investigation of David Gibson, the former captain of […]

Sheriff’s Office withheld records at will prior to issuance of court order

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: “The General Assembly finds and declares that the strong public policy of this state is in favor of open government; that open government is essential to a free, open and democratic society; and that public access to public records should be encouraged to foster confidence in government and so that the […]

David Gibson investigation: Court documents differ from Houston Co. Internal Affairs final report

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The petition for declaratory judgment filed in Spalding County Superior Court that resulted in a temporary restraining order (TRO) sealing the Internal Affairs investigative record of David Gibson, former captain of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Uniform Patrol Division, differs from information provided to Lt. Ronald Brainard, of the Houston […]

Restraining order obtained to seal recent Internal Affairs investigative record of former S.C.S.O. Capt. David Gibson

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The Internal Affairs investigation of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office that resulted in former Capt. David Gibson’s retirement in lieu of termination has been sealed by Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford, of the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Upon receiving an Open Records request for this investigative record submitted by The Grip June […]