Parkes gets probation in eavesdropping case

A Clayton County sheriff's deputy, in Superior Court Thursday, apologized to a co-worker for recording her using the bathroom, calling it "a childish prank."

Alicia Nicole Parkes, 33, of McDonough, pleaded guilty as a first offender to unlawful eavesdropping July 14, 2010, and was sentenced to three years on probation. She could have gotten one to five years in prison.

Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Lalaine Briones said a charge of obstruction of an officer, was dropped as part of the plea negotiation.

Also part of the plea deal was Parkes' apology to victim, Stephanie Glenn.

"I apologize to everyone for my part in this, and hope she'll accept my apology," said Parkes.

At Briones' prompting, Parkes made a second, more specific apology.

"I am apologizing for making a recording," she said. "It was a childish prank that went wrong, and I'm very sorry."

Parkes was supposed to dispose of her case, Tuesday. However, when she arrived late to court, Chief Judge Deborah Benefield issued a bench warrant. Parkes was arrested and held in the Henry County Jail. Parkes was brought in Thursday wearing handcuffs and a green, two-piece, inmate uniform.

She also apologized to Benefield.

"I'm very sorry for what happened two days ago," she said.

Briones read the facts of the case into the court's record, including Parkes' admission to the sheriff's Special Investigations Unit.

"Alicia Parkes admitted she'd taped Stephanie Glenn in the bathroom," she said. "You could see the feet below the stall and hear the noises. Parkes then showed the tape to LaDonna Williams. She admitted it was mean, but said Stephanie Glenn was nasty to her."

Other plea conditions include a $300 fine, monthly probation fee and no contact with Glenn. Briones said the plea deal was discussed "thoroughly" with the victim, who authorized the negotiations.

At the time of her arrest, Parkes was the public information officer for Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. She was removed from that duty and placed in an administrative position. After her arrest, Tuesday, on the bench warrant, Kimbrough put her on unpaid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Parkes was represented in court by Atlanta attorney Jackie Patterson. He said after the hearing that first offender status will allow Parkes to keep her job.

"It was important to do a first offender plea, because, otherwise, she'd be a convicted felon," he said. "We all have mortgages, and kids, and you have to consider that. She still has her job. She's happy to have this matter resolved so she can move on with her life."

As a first offender, Parkes' sentence is not fixed, said Benefield. If Parkes successfully completes the terms, her record will be expunged. If she violates the terms, she can be sent to prison for the maximum sentence allowed for her crime.