UPDATE: Marshall County Sheriff responds to claims deputies destroyed political signs of opponent
MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT)- Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls has responded to claims made by his Republican challenger Chuck Ellis that two deputies recently destroyed Ellis signs.
Thursday Ellis’ campaign filed a police report claiming two signs near the intersection of Simpson Point Road and Kirkland Road were destroyed. The report names two current deputies as the perpetrators.
Walls responded to the allegations in a story written by the Sand Mountain Reporter newspaper. The Sheriff told the paper he believed the allegations were all political.
“It is two months before a political race,” Walls told the paper. “I’m not going to get involved in this type of childish stuff.”
Saturday the Ellis campaign responded to Walls’ comments to the paper.
“Was it political when a young lady witnessed a wrong doing,” the statement asks. “Was it a political jab when she called the sheriff’s office and reported the criminal acts?”
The report was filed by Charles Ellis, the father of Chuck Ellis. In it, Charles Ellis claims the incident happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 24th. Ellis states in the report that a woman reported seeing a black Chevy Tahoe outside of her home on Simpson Point Road in Grant. According to the report, the witness says she heard a noise, saw the vehicle drive away and then noticed the political sign had been damaged.
She stated the vehicle was missing a front headlight. The report states the woman contacted the sheriff’s office about the incident.
The report goes on to say that a few minutes later, an officer with the Grant Police Department pulled over a Tahoe matching the same description because it had a missing front headlight. The officer reportedly called in the vehicle tag information and it came back on a Marshall County deputy. The report says a female was driving the vehicle and there were other male passengers who appeared to be intoxicated. The Grant officer did not make any arrests.
The Ellis campaign claims that they met with the Marshall County Chief Deputy recently and he offered to suspend the deputies involved for three days. In the newspaper article Walls did not respond to those allegations.
He did tell the paper that if any of his employees are found to be engaged in wrongdoing there would be consequences.
“I will see to it that it is handled appropriately,” Walls told the paper.
The Sand Mountain Reporter also says Walls claims Guntersville Police, who took the report, issued a news release Friday afternoon after 4 p. m. to “stir up” the issue.
However, WHNT News 19 is not aware of any news agency receiving a news release from the Guntersville Police Department concerning the allegations.
Guntersville Police did release the police report after media requests.
WHNT News 19 has learned that the Ellis campaign has decided to take the police report to an investigative agency such as the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
The Ellis campaign says they are not yet ready to speak about the accusations.
WHNT News 19 reached out to Walls for a response, but we have not heard back from anyone in the office.