Fired police chief accused of spying on City Council members, audit reveals

FOREST PARK, Ga. — An audit revealed that Forest Park's former police chief told officers to spy on two City Council members and go through their trash.

The former chief is white and the council members are black.

Channel 2's Matt Johnson was in Forest Park, where the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the situation. But the information revealed in the audit by police officers paint a grim picture of a police chief using city resources to spy on elected officials for three years.

[READ MORE: Police chief fired amid racial profiling allegations]

Forest Park city leaders fired Dwayne Hobbs in October 2018 after accusations of racial profiling. Hobbs has denied the accusations.

A year later, the audit revealed new allegations that that Hobbs ordered officers to mount cameras to spy on the homes of elected officials.

Johnson talked to Forest Park Councilwoman Latresa Akins-Wells, who said she cried when she learned she may have been spied on at her home at the request of the city's ex-police chief.

"To find out that I'm being treated as a criminal and I've done absolutely nothing is heartbreaking," Akins-Wells said.

She said she was one of Hobbs' most outspoken critics.

"I'm fighting this for other people, not knowing it was being done to me," Akins-Wells said.


The city ordered an audit after Hobbs' firing that revealed new information based on interviews from officers. It showed that members of the "Viper Task Force" mounted cameras on poles near the homes of Atkins-Wells and Councilman Dabouze Antoine.

The audit claims officers emptied the council members' garbage bins to collect potential evidence of voter fraud and illegal drug activity.

The city said they have no evidence that either Antoine or Akins-Wells did anything illegal.

"It was basically race-motivated," Antoine said.

He said he was disgusted to learn that the audit showed this had been going on from 2014 to 2017.

"At the time, it was two council members that were African-Americans, and you had the rest of the council were white," Antoine said. "So the other council members were not targeted."

Channel 2's Mark Winne spoke to Hobbs last September, and he denied any wrongdoing.

"I said, 'Did I do anything wrong?'" Hobbs said in that interview. "And I was told, 'No.'"

The audit also revealed Hobbs and two staffers didn't keep records of thousands of dollars in cashed checks and ammunition sales.

"Hopefully, they'll go to jail, you know?" Akins-Wells said. "This is taxpayers' dollars you are all playing around with."

The GBI told Johnson they're in the early stages of investigating the findings of the audit of the request of the current Forest Park police chief.

Johnson reached out to Hobbs via Facebook, but he hasn't heard back.