Ex-Cobb County GOP leader accused of molesting two boys


For four years, he served as the chairman of Cobb County’s Republican Party, the largest red county in Georgia. Joe Dendy was the face of his party, sharing his opinions on the Braves’ move and subtle suggestions that MARTA shouldn’t extend rail service into Cobb.

On Friday, Dendy made headlines again. But this time, it had nothing to do with his political persuasion.

The 71-year-old was arrested at his West Cobb home and charged with aggravated child molestation and child molestation, according to police. He is also wanted by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan, as well as the Laurens Police Department in South Carolina on additional sexual abuse allegations, Sgt. Dana Pierce with Cobb police said late Friday.

It’s the second time in recent months that a notable Cobb Republican has been investigated for molestation.

In December, Kennesaw councilman and former mayor Leonard Church was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of child molestation and four counts of sexual exploitation of children. Church, 67, who served two terms as mayor of Kennesaw, pleaded guilty to the charges just prior to his jury trial beginning.

Dendy is accused of molesting two boys, ages 4 and 12, during separate incidents inside his Creekview Court home, near Marietta, his arrest warrant states. One victim, who is now 20, told police he was molested in 2007 or 2008, when he was 12 or 13 years old. A second victim said Dendy molested him in December 2011, according to police.

A 4-year-old boy was sitting on Dendy’s lap when the man put his hand inside the boy’s pull-up diaper and touched him, a witness told investigators, according to the warrant.

An arrest warrant was issued for Dendy late Thursday, and deputies went to his home and arrested him at 9 a.m. Friday, booking records showed. Friday afternoon, another warrant was secured for Dendy, charging him with being a fugitive from justice. No details were available late Friday about the allegations in Michigan and South Carolina.

Dendy, a married grandfather, was being held without bond Friday night at the Cobb jail.

After serving two terms, each of them two years, as leader of the Cobb GOP, Dendy was succeeded last year by his vice chair, Rose Wing. The Cobb County Republican Party and key leaders in the party, including U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Attorney General Sam Olens and former State GOP Chair Sue Everhart, declined to comment Friday on the arrest.

Dendy and his wife have run a travel agency from their home since 1993, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.



Next Up in Local

Report: South Florida candidate compares Parkland activists to Hitler
Report: South Florida candidate compares Parkland activists to Hitler

A South Florida City Council candidate used Facebook posts to compare two teen activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to Adolf Hitler, communists and actors, the Sun-Sentinel reported. >> Read more trending news  Ximena Hommel is running for a seat on the Plantation City Council. Although her social media posts have been...
Doctor accused of working while drunk suspended in Kentucky
Doctor accused of working while drunk suspended in Kentucky

A doctor who raised concerns that he might have been drunk while working at a Kentucky hospital has been suspended by the state’s medical licensing board, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. >> Read more trending news  The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure released an emergency suspension order against Thomas Paul Splan on...
Arizona man rescued after falling into 100-foot mine
Arizona man rescued after falling into 100-foot mine

An Arizona man who fell into a 100-foot mine Monday was rescued after a 48-hour ordeal that saw him break both of his legs and kill three rattlesnakes, KNXV reported. >> Read more trending news  Crews from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office rescued John Waddell, 62, on Wednesday, KSAZ reported. Waddell went 48 hours without food...
Southwest Airlines diverts flight after passenger's 'footsie' game
Southwest Airlines diverts flight after passenger's 'footsie' game

A Texas man is accused of “playing footsies” with a female passenger while on a Southwest Airlines flight this week, and then interfering with flight attendants when the woman changed her seat, causing the flight to be diverted, The Dallas Morning News reported. >> Read more trending news  Justin Riley Brafford, 29, of Denton...
Police: Virginia couple rode on moped with 5-month-old child wedged between them
Police: Virginia couple rode on moped with 5-month-old child wedged between them

A Virginia couple is accused of riding on a moped with their 5-month-old child wedged between them, WTVR reported. Athena Colon, 24, and Cane Hartwick Jr., 26, of Spotsylvania County, were arrested and charged with two counts of felony child neglect, the television station reported. Authorities said they began receiving multiple calls about 4...
More Stories