MACON, Ga. — Bleckley County Sheriff Kristopher Coody has been charged with a misdemeanor after a January incident in a Cobb County hotel bar.
Cobb County Judge Janne McKamey signed a warrant for his arrest January 28th. Thursday, Coody's chief deputy told 13WMAZ the sheriff is out of state on a church-sponsored mission trip.
"That has been scheduled for over a year," said Chief Deputy Daniel Cape.
The warrant says Coody touched a woman's breast at a hotel in January. It names the woman, who is a well-known Atlanta judge.
"Sheriff Coody has been a law enforcement officer for more than two decades and has tremendous respect for our court system," Cape said.
13WMAZ obtained a copy of Coody's service record from the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council -- also known as POST.
Coody started his career in 1988 with the Georgia State Patrol. Records show he was fired from the State Patrol in 2007 after a series of incidents around a domestic dispute, including allegations that he allowed a 12-year-old to drive his patrol cruiser on the highway.
Bleckley County hired him 10 days later as a deputy. He started as the sheriff in 2017 after three years as chief deputy.
Terry Norris with the Georgia Sheriffs' Association says since Coody is charged with a misdemeanor, he may not be removed from office.
"The governor has the authority to empanel two sheriffs and the attorney general. The governor then has the authority to suspend that sheriff for 60 -- up to 90 days," Norris said.
Cape said he did not know when Coody would return from the mission trip. He would not say whether Coody would turn himself in, but said Coody would meet with the proper authorities upon his return.