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Glynn County, Vidalia police chiefs indicted

Brian Scott, left, and John Powell, right.
Brian Scott, left, and John Powell, right.(WTOC)
Updated: Feb. 28, 2020 at 12:51 PM EST
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GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Vidalia Police Department chief and Glynn County Police Department chief have been indicted in Glynn County.

Chief Brian Scott took over the Vidalia Police Department in August of 2019. He previously worked at the Glynn County Police Department when the alleged incident occurred.

The indictment charges Scott with two counts of violation of oath by public officer, one count of influencing a witness, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

John Powell, who has been placed on administrative leave with pay in Glynn County, is charged with three counts of violating oath of office, two counts of influencing a witness and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Two other Glynn County officers, David Hassler and David Matthew Haney, have also been indicted.

According to the indictment, the charges stem from an investigation into James Cassada, who was reportedly engaging in an inappropriate relationship with an informant beginning in 2017. Cassada was a former officer with the now defunct Glynn Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team (GBNET).

The GBI began in investigation into the allegations in 2019. Cassada plead guilty to two counts of violation of oath of office and agreed to cooperate further with the investigation.

In September 2019, a Glynn County Grand Jury made a series of findings and recommendations concerning the operations of GBNET and the county police department. That grand jury recommended that criminal charges be considered by the next grand jury.

According to the indictment, one accusation against Powell and Scott is that they tried to deter a witness from testifying and reportedly threatened the witness’s employment with the police department.

Bench warrants have been issued for the four and bonds have been set. It is expected that the defendants will report to the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office to be processed for outstanding warrants.

The Glynn County Police Department has named Jay Wiggins as interim chief.

Vidalia City Manager Nick Overstreet has released a statement regarding Chief Scott:

“A grand jury in Glynn County returned four true bills on an indictment that was presented this morning in Glynn County Superior Court against the City of Vidalia Police Chief, Brian Scott, and others named in the indictment. The four counts against Chief Scott include two counts of Violation of Oath by Public Officer, one count of Influencing a Witness, and one count of Criminal Attempt to Commit a Felony. Chief Scott was placed on administrative leave immediately pending investigation of the indictment and surrounding facts.”

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