State Attorney Drops Altha Employee's Felony Charges

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There is reaction Thursday to the latest developments of a corruption and misconduct investigation in Altha. The state attorney's office has decided to let the city handle the findings. Town council members have already decided to do nothing. The decision is drawing heavy criticism.

Altha Mayor Wes Johnston cannot believe the State Attorney is allowing the town council to decide the fate of Public Works Director Wayne Gable without a trial, especially since three of those four council members are themselves being investigated for sunshine law violations.

The three voted to reinstate Gable hours after he was arrested and the mayor suspended him last September.

"And to me, maybe I'm being facetious, but it's starting to look like the fox is guarding the henhouse," says Mayor Wes Johnson.

The three council members being investigated for Sunshine Law violations are Drew Peacock, his cousin, Bruce Peacock and Lee Alday. The three passed a motion in January requesting that the State Attorney drop all charges against Gable. The request was put in writing on January 20.

Council member Janice Graham opposed the motion. In a meeting on January 13 council member Lee Alday said, "I'm going to make a recommendation. I don't know how to word this, but we try our best to go to the State's Attorney to see if they won't let us handle this situation on our own."

And later Wayne Gable himself said, "All Appleman wants is a letter and a copy of the minutes and it's all over."

When asked why not just let Wayne Gable go to trial, council chair Drew Peacock said, "Well, they don't need to go to trial."

Like the mayor, council member Janice Graham is also disappointed.

"I was hoping the Calvary would ride in and help us because I honestly believe that there are a lot of things going on that are wrong," says Janice Graham, Altha Council member.

The FDLE handed over two investigation reports to the state attorney's office, one on gable, the another on possible sunshine violations by three council members. Neither report has been made public.