Former Meigs mayor accused of lying in court documents

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By: Associated Press
March 30, 2017

MEIGS, Ga. (AP) -- A former south Georgia mayor has been arrested after authorities say she filed false documents to receive free legal representation.

News outlets report former Meigs Mayor Linda Harris was arrested Tuesday on charges of giving false statements and writings. Officials say Harris filed false court documents on March 16 stating she was penniless and could not afford legal representation.

However, the Thomas County Sheriff's office says that isn't true, saying she owns a house in Meigs and has a bank account and a vehicle.

Harris was sentenced March 23 after being convicted of charges including violation of oath of office and theft by taking. The charges stem from the theft of $80 from city hall.

It's unclear if Harris has an attorney.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 23, 2017

MEIGS, Ga. (WCTV) -- The former mayor of Meigs, Linda Harris, has been sentenced for theft and violation of oath of public office.

Thursday morning, Harris was sentenced to five years of probation, 90-180 days in a probation detention center, 200 hours of community service and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.

Harris was also ordered not harass, threaten or intimidate employees of the City of Meigs and not to enter Meigs City Hall or the Meigs Community Center.

The sentencing comes after Harris was convicted back on February 3rd.


By: Erika Fernandez
February 3, 2017

MEIGS, Ga. (WCTV) -- The former mayor of Meigs now awaits her sentencing. Linda Harris was found guilty on Friday of theft and violating her oath of office.

This is a criminal case and the sheriff's office says they're relieved that a verdict has finally been reached. The charges stem from 2015 when Harris allegedly stole money from City Hall. She later admitted to committing the crime, but refused to take a plea deal.

Her trial lasted nearly two days, with jurors needing 90 minutes to reach the guilty verdict. Lieutenant Tim Watkins of the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office says he hopes this verdict can help the troubled city look toward the future.

"We’re hoping to move forward, get a new charter in place, revamp their city seats and maybe instead of an elected mayor, have one just appointed off the council every year," Lt. Watkins says.

Lt. Watkins says he hopes this verdict restores the citizens’ faith in their judicial system. Harris' sentencing is on March 23, and she faces up to six years in prison.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
February 3, 2017

MEIGS, Ga. (WCTV) – A verdict has been reached in the trial of former Meigs Mayor Linda Harris.

Harris has been found guilty of theft by taking and violation of oath of public office.

The trial began Thursday morning in Thomas County Court and was given to the jury on Friday.

The jury began deliberating at 11:15 a.m. and reached the verdict an hour and a half later.

Harris' sentencing is set for March 23.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 24, 2016

MEIGS, Ga. (WCTV) – The Mayor of Meigs in Thomas County is on her way out of office. 66 percent of voters in Meigs chose to recall Mayor Linda Harris.

Harris has been arrested four times since taking office. Two of those arrests were within the last year.

We spoke with Harris just before the election. She said she had not yet completed her vision for the city.

"I haven’t been able to do what I wanted to do. As I stated for my vision to move the city forward, and to implement and develop policies and procedures that the administrative staff would have to abide by and it has really put me at a disservice for the city," Harris told us.

She adds, “Nothing has really been done for the city. The only thing that has been done is an attempt to attack me and I've been jailed a couple of times."

Harris is eligible to run for election again.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 5, 2016

MEIGS, Ga. -- A Thomas County grand jury has indicted Meigs Mayor Linda Harris.

The indictment came down Thursday morning. Harris is charged with theft by taking, and violation of oath of office.

In February, the embattled mayor was arrested for the fourth time since taking office after investigators accused her of using a city credit card to spend $138, mostly on supplies for a December Christmas party.

Harris was arrested in October of 2015 taking $80 in cash as payment for city services. She was also arrested in April of 2014 and charged with disorderly conduct—accused of making threatening gestures and remarks toward fellow city officials, including the city clerk.

Harris was also accused of stalking a former Meigs Mayor who she defeated in a November of 2013 election.

A recall vote for Harris is planned for the ballot this month.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
February 9, 2016

MEIGS, Ga. -- The Mayor of Meigs, Georgia has been arrested for the fourth time in her mayoral career.

Mayor Linda Harris turned herself into the Thomas County Sheriff's Office Tuesday afternoon.

Harris is charged with three counts of financial transaction card fraud and one count of violation of oath of office.

Investigators say she used a city credit card to spend $138.00 when she was not authorized to do so. They say most of that money was spent on supplies for a Christmas party in December.

At her arraignment on Tuesday, Harris' bond was set at $2,500 on each count of fraud and $5,000 on the violation of oath of office.

We spoke to the mayor on the phone Tuesday night. She tells us she was given the card.

"I'm not guilty of any of those charges," she said. "And before the end of it, somebody's probably going to be caught for perjury."

This is the fourth arrest for the embattled Mayor. Harris was arrested in October of 2015 taking $80 in cash as payment for city services.

In November, the city shut down for several days because of a lack of insurance. Council members said the city's insurance carrier dropped its coverage because of lawsuits against the mayor.

She was also arrested in April of 2014 and charged with disorderly conduct—accused of making threatening gestures and remarks toward fellow city officials, including the city clerk.

In late 2013 she was arrested and accused of stalking the former Meigs mayor who she defeated in the November 2013 election.

A recall vote for Mayor Harris is planned for the ballot in May.




 
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