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GBI: Roberta argument resulted from complaint against chief | News

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GBI: Roberta argument resulted from complaint against chief

An argument at Roberta City Hall apparently happened after the mayor's husband tried to file a complaint against the police chief.

A GBI spokeswoman says he hopes to meet with the district attorney this week about the "encounter."

J.T. Ricketson, special agent in charge of the GBI's Perry office, says they're still interviewing witnesses.

It reportedly happened around 11 a.m. Saturday at Roberta's police station.

He says Jack Smith, 68, went there to file a complaint against Chief Benjamin Thomas. Ricketson was not sure about the nature of the complaint.

Smith apparently felt that the officer on duty was slow to provide a complaint form, possibly due to a computer problem, Ricketson said.

"The officer seemed to be having some difficulty," said Ricketson. "I don't think there was any intent not to do anything."

As the discussion stretched on, he said, Chief Thomas became involved.

"They had an 'incident' or an 'encounter,' " said Ricketson. "I'm not going to call it an altercation or a fight."

Ricketson said they're still interviewing witnesses to learn if either man touched the other. But neither Thomas or Smith was treated for injuries, he said.

"Right now, we're still trying to sort our way through this," he said.

He said he hopes to meet late this week with District Attorney David Cooke, who will hear the evidence and decide if any crime was committed.

Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker said his officers were called to the scene Saturday, but he referred the case to the GBI to avoid conflict of interest.


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