Sheriff Arrested by GBI, Bond Conditions Bar Him From Law Enforcement Duties

A Georgia Sheriff has been arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Rabun County Sheriff Chad Nichols of Clayton, Georgia was arrested by the GBI on Friday on charges of Public Indecency, Sexual Battery and Violation of Oath by a Public Officer. The first two offenses are misdemeanors punishable by up to $1,000 fine and a year in jail. Violation of Oath by a Public Officer is a felony offense with a sentence of one to five years in prison.

According to the GBI, a week prior, the state agency was contacted by Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Christian regarding an incident involving Nichols.

Fox5 Atlanta reported that the alleged incident happened on election day during a campaign rally. A woman reported that the Sheriff “tried to get her alone in the building, but she refused. She also reportedly then later witnessed Nichols naked, performing a sexual act.

45-year-old Nichols turned himself into the Rabun County Detention Center on Friday. Bond for Nichols was set at $32,500 and, as a condition of his release, Nichols cannot directly be involved in, or direct any law enforcement activities in his personal capacity, or his capacity as Sheriff of Rabun County.

Rabun County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kevin Angell said Major Beth Darnell will assume the sheriff’s role in the interim.

Nichols had a three-way primary race in May, which was forced into a runoff with challenger Mark Gerrells. Nichols garnered 37.8% of the vote with Gerrells pulling 45%. Third place challenger Marty Talley garnered 17.2% of the vote. The runoff election is scheduled June 18.

The investigation is ongoing, but the GBI said in a news release that once the investigation is complete, the case file will be given to the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution.

Nichols is the third Georgia Sheriff to be arrested on Sexual Battery Charges in the last two years. Miller County Sheriff Rick Morgan was arrested in August 2022 and Bleckley County Sheriff Kristopher Coody was arrested in February 2022 for an incident that happened Cobb County. Coody pleaded guilty in August 2023.

Nichols joined the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office in 1998.

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and co-creator of of the Peabody Award-nominated podcast 'Prison Town.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

1 Comment

  1. Who in this crazy world can we trust as daily our so called leaders and protectors are arrested and their lies and criminal activities are brought to light. Our elections for me has come down to trying to vote for the one I think will do the least amount of damage while in office. It frightens me to see what our country facing daily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Summer feeding program is June 3-28

Next Story

Paulk brothers graduate from EAGLE Academy, reflect on making friends, having fun 

NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link

The Latest News Straight to Your Inbox

Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
close-link
Click Me