Upson County has a connection to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) case against former Spalding County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Captain David Gibson, who has been charged with aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, influencing witnesses, sexual battery, stalking, two counts of simple battery, public indecency and violation of his oath of office. The alleged victim of the stalking charge lives in Upson County.
Sheila Matthews of The Grip newspaper in Griffin first reported that Gibson, a 27-year employee of the SCSO and the captain over the Uniform Patrol Division, retired in lieu of termination on May 21, 2015, in the midst of an Internal Affairs investigation involving allegations of sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, improper use of the Internet, conduct unbecoming an officer and violating his oath of office. The investigation was handled by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office at the request of Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam. The findings were turned over to Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard, who requested the GBI do a criminal investigation.
Following their investigation, the GBI arrested Gibson on Sept. 10 when he turned himself in at the SCSO. The arrest warrants obtained by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation against Gibson allege criminal wrongdoing dating back as early as 2008. Altogether, the GBI arrest warrants state a number of the incidents occurred at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, and identifies five alleged victims, one of whom is a civilian with no association to the Sheriff’s Office.
In connection with the case, on Sept. 14, Gibson was charged with misdemeanor Stalking against one of the victims in Upson County and released on a $1,000 bond. His bond for the charges in Spalding County was set at $120,000.
In addition to the criminal charges, Gibson and Sheriff Beam are being sued by the four female employees for $8 million total, $2 million by each of the employees. That suit was filed July 10.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.