BLECKLEY COUNTY, Ga. — Bleckley County Sheriff Kris Coody has now been formally charged in Cobb County with sexual battery, a misdemeanor.
Coody is accused of groping TV Judge Glenda Hatchett, and former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown told our sister station 11Alive he witnessed it all.
"She's thinking, 'He's a sheriff, what do I do?'" Brown recalled.
Brown says in January, he, Hatchett, and two other women were talking in a bar at a hotel where the state sheriff's convention was happening.
He says Hatchett asked Coody where he was from, to which Brown says he replied, "The heart of Georgia."
"He wanted to emphasize 'the heart of Georgia,' and he did that by placing his left hand on her left breast, and he did it three times," the former sheriff explained.
Brown says he stepped in.
"When I saw his hand go down on her left breast and I reached over, grabbed his hand, took it off of her and basically said, 'What are you doing?' and, 'Get your hands off of her,'" he recalled.
Brown says he escorted Hatchett away.
Brown says he's speaking publicly because no one is above the law.
"He is the chief law enforcement officer of his county. The head of law enforcement agency sets the tone for the culture of our agency. Law enforcement officers do not put up with law enforcement officers that do the wrong thing,” he said.
Back in January, Coody released a statement saying he "takes these charges very seriously" and looks forward to "personally expressing his regrets for any offense."
We went to the Bleckley County Sheriff's office Tuesday to try to speak to Coody, but he did not return our calls.
Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriffs' Association, says they may discuss Coody's charges at their board meeting in June.