Ex-chief ticketed after being threatened
The Ellis County Press
PALMER – Former Palmer Police Chief Scott Lynch was ticketed two weeks ago after being verbally abused by resident Charles Clark, who had threatened The Ellis County Press news editor a day before.
Clark, who threatened to slit news editor Joey Dauben’s throat after a controversial article was published detailing thousands of dollars Councilman Mike Greenlee spent on hotels, strip clubs and bars while he was mayor, started the argument outside of Jenny’s Café in downtown Palmer, Lynch said.
Lynch, who did not want to comment further, told Mayor Lance Anglin he was disgusted by the fact Palmer police handcuffed Clark and then released him once Chief John Zaidle arrived on the scene.
Zaidle said both men were ticketed, but critics of the department’s handling have said Clark is being "protected."
"That’s news to me," Zaidle said in reference to Clark’s long history of threatening residents with bodily injury, only to avoid prosecution and punishment. In a response to an open records request sent by this newspaper, Zaidle released notes from two incident reports dated April 10 detailing Clark’s verbal attacks on Lynch, who resigned last month amid a city council list of infractions ranging from not waving to the mayor in public and raising his voice at employees.
"On April 10, 2008 at 10:09 I Palmer Police Officer R. Connelly #403 was dispatched to a disturbance in the front of Jenny’s Cafe. Upon arrival I saw and heard Charles Clark and Scott Lynch in a verbal argument. Charles Clark was calling Scott a ‘[expletive] sucker’ along with many other words.
"Charles Clark stated that he was driving by Jenny’s Cafe when Scott Lynch, Charles Landrith, and Steven Robertson started to cuss and yell at him.
"Charles Clark then stated he stopped the truck and Scott walked up to the window and told him to come by my house and we will handle this. Charles Clark then exited the vehicle and went and sat down on the bench. Scott Lynch stated that him, Charles Landrith, and Steven Robertson just finished eating and Jenny’s Cafe and were walking outside to the parking lot when Charles Clark drove up and started cussing at them. I spoke to Jenny the owner of Jenny’s Cafe who stated that Charles Clark has been trying to start a fight with Scott and messing with him. At this time I started to write Charles Clark a citation for disorderly conduct for his language. Charles Clark would not stop cussing and would not calm down and was telling me that he was not going to ‘---king pay for that.’
"At this time Charles Clark was handcuffed and placed in the rear of my patrol vehicle for his safety and mine and to calm the incident scene down. At this time Chief Zaidle and Sgt. Shelton arrived on scene and spoke to both Charles Clark and Scott Lynch about what took place. Chief Zaidle instructed me to issue Scott a citation for disorderly conduct for inciting a fight. Both suspects signed [their] citations and [were] released from the scene without any further incident."
"Clark could not be reached for comment, but Lynch said he intended to fight his ticket "all the way."