Lumpkin Mayor, City Clerk both arrested following controversy

lumpkin mayor
Lumpkin Mayor Charles Gibson. (Source: Stewart County Sheriff's Office)
Lumpkin Mayor Charles Gibson. (Source: Stewart County Sheriff's Office)

LUMPKIN, GA (WTVM) - An investigation into the Mayor of Lumpkin and the city clerk is sparking controversy in the small town in Stewart County.

According to

, City Clerk Niya Williams was arrested on April 14 after she ran through a stop sign. Lumpkin Mayor Charles Gibson subsequently arrested on Wednesday has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor obstruction.

The charges stem from him allegedly telling the city clerk not to pull over when she was in a pursuit with police on April 14, according to a police report.

A police officer who observed her run through the intersection turned his lights on in an attempt to pull Williams over but she refused, starting a chase on Georgia Highway 1.

The chase reached 73 miles per hour during the pursuit, even running other cars off the road.

According to the officer, Williams' registration was suspended. Multiple officers from different counties then stepped in to help the officer stop the car.

The officer says once they were finally able to pull her over, she ignored commands to get out of the car while talking on her cell phone and smoking a cigarette.

The report says Williams told officers she was on the phone with Mayor Charles Gibson and said "You done messed up now, I'm on the phone with the Mayor." While resisting arrest Williams also told the officers, "You better remember my name!"

The report says the mayor showed up as they were waiting for a tow truck.

The supplemental police reports states an officer went to a gas station to get the surveillance video from the initial traffic stop before the pursuit.

The report also says that same day the mayor also went to the same gas station to get the video as well, hindering a police investigation.

Williams was eventually arrested and booked at the Sumter County Jail.

We spoke with Mayor Gibson on Tuesday, who says Williams filed a complaint against the arresting officer just one day before the arrest because she felt threatened.

"In my opinion she's doing a great job, she has done something the previous clerk had not done already, and we're going to investigate her complaint against this officer to the fullest extent," Gibson said.

The report also says the mayor instructed Williams not to pull over until multiple police units were behind her. According to police, a warrant has been issued to the district attorney for Mayor Gibson.

Mayor Gibson released the following statement on Wednesday, April 22:

"I, Mayor Charles Gibson have not broken any laws. I was putting the safety of the person who had already expressed concern of harassment from the arresting officer, as the priority of the situation. Once a complete investigation is done, the people will then understand. I look forward to bringing opportunities to the people of Lumpkin and surrounding communities, in an effort to make living life better."

Williams faces two counts of obstruction, one count of failure to stop at stop sign and one count of fleeing or eluding police. 

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