By: Kara Duffy
April 22, 2013
Barwick, GA- Barwick City Council member Walter Yost was arrested and charged with felony interference with government property, after investigators say he illegally moved a city sign located in Central Park in Barwick.
"The city had actually installed signs in the park, stating the rules of the park and they placed the signs strategically to keep someone from driving up on the grass and Mr. Yost took the sign and moved it away from where the commission had put it," said Lt. Tim Watkins with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators say when they asked Yost why he moved the sign, he said it was in the way of the city's 12 Mile Flee Market. But investigators say, he also removed the park's American Flag.
"They were flying it at half mass after the Chief passed away and Mr. Yost also took that flag down and never returned it," said Lt. Watkins.
Yost, however, said as a military veteran himself, President of Barwick's Civic Club, as well as an adult scout leader, he would never disrespect the American Flag.
Yost said the only reason he took it down was because he drove by, saw the spotlight was burned out, and the flag was flying in the dark which violates the United States Flag Code.
"As a private citizen, you cannot go and remove state, city or county owned property without proper approval."
Investigators say Yost is still a member of the city council, but is banned from going on Barwick city property except to attend the meetings.