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April 21, 2014

Meigs mayor arrested again

THOMASVILLE — Two days before Meigs Mayor Linda Harris was to appear in court on a stalking charge, she was arrested again.

Harris was arrested by Meigs police Saturday morning and charged with disorderly conduct. She was released from the Thomas County Jail on a $500 bond issued by the Magistrate Court of Thomas County.

The special condition of the bond was that Harris would stay away, directly, indirectly, by person, third party, telephone, e-mail, text message or any other correspondence from Meigs City Clerk Marsha Demoga and her place of employment.

According to police reports, there has been a long history of conflict between Harris, the Meigs City Council and city staff. She was arrested on Saturday because of incidents that allegedly happened involving Demoga.

On Wednesday, Officer John Ferrell of the Meigs Police Department was talking with Demoga at Meigs City Hall. While he was in the office, Harris entered to collect documents that were behind the front desk.

It was then that Harris began having a discussion with Demoga about driving arrangements to a meeting that was scheduled later that day.

Reports stated that Harris became hostile toward Demoga.

After several minutes, Harris left the office and she stated to Demoga in a hostile way, “It’s almost time for you.”

The city clerk asked her if she was threatening her and Harris left the office. Demoga then told Ferrell that the mayor had made several threats to her and city staff.

The next incident occurred on Friday when Sgt. Drew Campbell spoke with Demoga at Meigs City Hall in reference to another incident that happened on Thursday when Harris made demands to access a secured portion of City Hall.

Demoga informed the mayor that she did not have authorization to enter the area she was demanding access without the authority of the city council. Harris became hostile toward the city clerk once again, according to Demoga, who stated she began making threatening gestures and remarks towards her.

The threats consisted of “looming” excessively close to her over the desk, pointing her finger in Demoga’s face, speaking loudly and aggressively warning of some type of action against Demoga.

Harris allegedly continued to make further demands that she was to be given keys and access to City Hall by Monday.

According to Demoga’s statement, words used by Harris were, “I better have keys by Monday.”

Campbell was told of the events. Demoga informed him Harris has made numerous ambiguous statements that were in context with hostile intent.

She also quoted Harris as saying, “I’ve got something for you” and “It’s almost time for you.” According to Demoga, Harris left the office but continued to utter aggressive comments as she left.

Other witnesses in references to the incidents corroborated Demoga’s testimony.

On Monday, Harris was to appear in State Court of Thomas County for disposition for a late 2013 stalking case. The alleged victim in the case is Cynthia Chaney, the former Meigs mayor who Harris defeated by four votes in November 2013.

State Court Judge Mark Mitchell recused himself Monday in the stalking case, which was continued until it can be rescheduled with W.R. Folsom, a Valdosta State Court judge, presiding.

Harris could not be reached for comment.

 

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