Pike commissioner charged with harassment

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 2, 2013

Pike County Commissioner Charlie Harris has been arrested and charged with harassment.

A victim filed an offense report at the Troy Police Department on July 26 regarding an alleged incident of harassment that took place July 22 at the Pike County Commission building on Franklin Drive in Troy, according to a police report.

Charie Harris

Charie Harris

The complaint filed with the Municipal Court includes the victim’s details of the alleged offense and states that Harris, 64, of Brundidge, approached a female county employee at the Pike County Commission building at about 11:20 a.m. The two talked for a few minutes before the woman excused herself. The complaint alleges Harris “forcibly” grabbed the victim’s arms and “forcibly” kissed her on the mouth while pressing his genitals against her body. The victim said she was unable to defend herself well, but when she broke free from Harris’ grip she immediately went to the nearby elevator.

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“He said, ‘Don’t run off and tell anyone. Keep this between us,’” the victim wrote in her statement.

When the victim reported her account in the deposition on July 26, she noted her arm, neck and mouth were still sore from what she said was an “attack that was unsolicited.”

Pike County Administrator Harry Sanders said Thursday he was not able to comment on Harris’ arrest.

Harris turned himself in to police about 10:20 p.m. on July 26, according to his arrest report. He was released from jail on a $500 property bond.

The victim has retained Montgomery attorney Julian McPhillips who said, in addition to the victim’s criminal complaint, an Equal Opportunity Employment Commission complaint has been filed.

“We regret whenever any public official or private person gets involved in something of this nature, but my client is proceeding with the utmost integrity about this claim,” McPhillips said.

County Attorney Allen Jones and Harris could not be reached for comment Thursday before deadline.