Battle between Belville mayor, commissioner leads to criminal charges
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 project the rest of the commission is working on.
Breault shared with WWAY a copy of the e-mail that apparently prompted Batson to take out against him. The e-mail reads:
We all realize you have major anger management issues. BUT, I WILL NOT tolerate nor accept verbal abuse. A word of advice, the next time you snap, lose your temper, raise your voice and yell at me, you may likely find your words rammed back down your throat and, along with your new teeth, pulled out of your rectum!
I strongly urge you control your temper. Let us all try and act with the decorum befitting the Town’s representatives and as responsible adults.
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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