Former mayoral candidate arrested
By Geoff Belcher
Aug 30, 2014, 01:11
A former Bay St. Louis mayoral candidate was arrested this week for allegedly assaulting a city employee.
Former Bay St. Louis mayoral candidate Jeff Harding on Wednesday turned himself in at the Bay St. Louis Police Department and immediately posted a $1,000 cash bond.
According to court records, Harding was charged with simple assault and disturbing the peace, both misdemeanor offenses.
The affidavit alleging simple assault – attempt by physical menace to create fear – says that Harding went to city hall and attempted to put Bay St. Louis building official Charles Oliver "in fear of imminent serious bodily harm by saying he was not playing games and was going to open a can of whoop-ass for him."
The disturbing the peace affidavit uses similar language, alleging Harding said he was going to "whip" Oliver.
"I was probably a little loud, but I didn't threaten or assault anybody," Harding said Friday.
Harding, owner of Gulf Coast Pools, has been a very vocal critic of Mayor Les Fillingame's administration and in recent weeks has been in dispute with the building department over rules and regulations concerning his business property. Harding said there was no basis for either charge and he will fight both of them in court. He said he had also filed a cross-complaint, alleging an official pushed him, but was told that there would be no arrest, only a summons issued.
The matter will now go to Bay St. Louis Municipal Court.