Morrilton mayor said truck vandalism not first harassment
When Morrilton's police chief opted to resign, the city's mayor knew he would eventually end up appointing a new chief at the beginning of the year.
He just didn't know the action that would follow it.
Morrilton Mayor Stewart Nelson is a man with pretty thick skin, dealing with various threats in his 13-years as leader of the city. The most recent, someone spray painting "It ain't over," on the side of his truck, but Stewart can only hope that it is.
It's somewhat of a feud Mayor Nelson said dates back two years when he tried to replace the police chief after getting re-elected mayor. That time the council overrode his decision, but this time a 5-3 vote against Nelson wasn't good enough.
"A lot of unfortunate things were said and done leading up to this and I felt like we needed to bring in some new blood," Nelson said.
Tuesday was Sonny Stover's first day as the city's new chief, one he wished came with less tension.
"I do hate to see, I hate that someone would go to that level as a retaliation," Stover said.
That retaliation came in spray paint on the mayor's truck, a phrase yelled out by a council member when Stover was named chief.
We were there Tuesday when the mayor picked up his truck, with the paint erased. He hopes he'll be able to scratch out what has happened like he has events in the past.
"I had two tires flattened on my car, I think it was in '95, someone had ice picked my two tires," he added.
Slashed tires aren't the only things he's faced, he said numerous threatening phone calls have come in over the years.
Nelson said it's his wife who's most concerned at this point.
"'It ain't over,' means what's coming up next?"
Morrilton police asked the state police to investigate the matter, but since it does not carry a felony charge the state police turned it back over to Morrilton where they continue to investigate the incident.
The mayor said it looked at six other people for chief.