The Georgia Bureau of Investigations has been called to investigate an incident involving Clerk of Superior Court Barbara Penson after a recent incident involving a cellphone.

According to Floyd County Sheriff Dave Roberson, the Sheriff’s office works very closely with the clerk’s office so we felt that we should bring in an unbiased investigator to look at the situation.


The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate Floyd County Clerk of Courts Barbara Penson after an outburst outside the Floyd County courthouse.

Reports said that on August 5th, deputies were monitoring a video surveillance camera when they observed Penson enter the woman’s bathroom on the first floor of the courthouse.  They then saw Penson exit the bathroom with several paper towels in her hand. She proceeded to walk outside to the front entrance and pick up an object on the left side of a concrete vehicle barrier.

Reports went on to say that Penson then placed the object under her nose and immediately throw her head in an upward direction away from the object.

Penson then reportedly walked toward her office with the object in her hand and out of view of the surveillance camera.

At this point, the deputy called another officer that was at the front of the courthouse to ask what was going on.  That deputy, Deputy Carswell, advised that Penson stated she could not get a cellphone manufacturer to take back the phone unless it was damaged and that Penson went to get a hammer and began to strike the cellphone in front of the public at the courthouse. The actions resulted in the cellphone catching fire.

Deputies went to say that they were very concerned about Penson’s behavior and proceeded to speak to Chief Deputy Bob Couey, District Attorney Leigh Patterson, and Chief Superior Court Judge John Niedrach about the incident.

Reports added that deputies proceeded to speak with the Rome-Floyd Fire Department about the incident due to the cellphone having a lithium-ion battery and wanted to make sure no one was exposed to possible toxins.

Authorities said that they are still investigating the incident. Deputies added a video of the incident would be released once the investigation is complete.