Leslie chief says legal troubles were 'political' - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Leslie chief says legal troubles were 'political'

Chief Bob Smith (WALB image) Chief Bob Smith (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)
Sheriff Pete Smith (WALB image) Sheriff Pete Smith (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)
LESLIE, GA (WALB) -

The Leslie police chief is looking forward to getting back out in the community, without the fear of losing his job.  Chief Bob Smith was acquitted of making false statements to sheriff's investigators earlier this week. 
      
Smith calls his arrest and prosecution nothing more than a political war.  The sheriffs office disagrees with that.   

"You just don't know what it was like to be able to put faith back into our judicial system that the judicial system actually took this case and heard it and rendered the verdict of not guilty," said Smith

The chief was indicted and arrested in May, accused of making false statements to sheriff's investigators regarding a drug investigation. Prosecutors say he lied about a police laptop and whether he knew a woman caught with Meth. 

He broke down after hearing the verdict. ."Through the whole thing I've kept my head up, maintained my innocence, and a jury spoke and confirmed that," said Chief Smith.

When it comes to his arrest and prosecution, Smith minces no words. "This was nothing more than a political war, that was initially waged by the sheriff's department," said Chief Smith. 

Sheriff Pete Smith, no relation, disagrees. "I don't have any political motivation about it. He has the same rights as every other individual as far as running for office, as far as putting your money down to qualify," said Sheriff Smith.

Bob Smith never entered his name for sheriff though and kept his job as police chief.

"I would just like to thank the mayor and city council. Through this whole thing they never once turned their back on me," said Chief Smith.

And now their chief looks forward to protecting his streets. 

Sheriff Smith and Chief Smith both say the incident will not affect their ability to work together to keep the community safe.

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