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Belville mayor says town commissioner threatened him for months

BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Belville Mayor Jack Batson has filed charges against one of the town’s commissioners for communicating threats and cyberstalking.

Batson told WWAY Commissioner Joe Breault has been threatening him for months.

“The last few months he’s been threatening me with physical violence from time to time,” Batson said. “He wrote me an e-mail that he was gonna knock my teeth down my throat and out my ass. I just got tired of hearing all that.”

Breault says Batson “is distorting the facts” and “blowing the whole thing out of proportion.”

“This should have been dealt with in a very personal way,” Breault said. “I sent him an e-mail from my personal computer to his personal computer.”

Breault says it all stems from Batson standing in the way of a town hall project the rest of the commission is working on.

Batson says Breault’s threats have been increasing in volume for two or three months.

“Little snide comments to start with,” Batson said. “Then more and more graphic. I didn’t say anything at first, but he was starting to make me feel uncomfortable, so I decided to (file charges).”

The Belville Board of Commissioners, speaking through Mayor Pro Tem Mike Allen, released a statement today.

“The Town learned about the charges against Commissioner Breault this morning,” it said. “Under the American system of justice, an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. The Board puts its faith in that system and will allow the process to proceed forth to its conclusion. In the interim, the Board will closely monitor the situation and take those actions deemed necessary to protect the interests of the Town’s residents.”

Batson has been at the center of multiple controversies in the last few months. In September, the Town Commission voted to censure Batson because of an allegedly inappropriate relationship with a town employee. A few weeks later Batson was charged with sexual battery by a woman who claims the mayor attacked her in his home. He was found not guilty of the charge in February.

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