Sheriff’s wife publicly names challenging candidate as rumor source

News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Words can lead to dire consequences, and that may prove to be the case for Crystal Clinton, wife of Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton. In response to a social media post dated Oct. 20, Ms. Clinton fired online allegations at 2020 sheriff’s challenger Daren “Bear” Osborn, accusing the candidate of starting a pervasive rumor that Sheriff Clinton sought treatment for drug addiction. Ms. Clinton publicly claimed that she learned the source of the widespread rumor through an estranged relative who supervises Osborn’s law enforcement division in a neighboring county.

FetchYourNews (FYN) met with Osborn and his supervisor Nov. 1, both of whom adamantly denied Ms. Clinton’s allegations. “I did not start the rumor,” Osborn asserted. Osborn’s supervisor explained that she, like many in the community, heard talk of the sheriff’s alleged stint at a rehabilitation facility long before the topic was broached by Osborn, and attempted to learn firsthand whether the hearsay held weight through the Clinton clan.

FYN followed a similar course of action in late February, offering Sheriff Clinton an opportunity to address the rampant rumor of addiction after inquiries on his whereabouts poured into FYN from dozens of concerned citizens. Sheriff Clinton ceased communication with FYN at that time.

Crystal Clinton

A controversial screenshot posted to the Facebook group, “Make Towns County Great Again, vote out Chris Clinton.”

The sheriff’s spouse continued on in reference to Towns County’s “safety officer,” Emergency Management Agency-Homeland Security Director Brandon Walls, publicly alleging that the appointed official is a “convicted felon” and insinuating that Walls should not be trusted to hold the county position. “The only statement I will make at this time is that her accusation is false,” Walls said.

Developments are expected as a result of what the parties involved consider defamation.

Ms. Clinton did not respond to FYN’s request for comment, issued via email through Sheriff Clinton, prior to publication.

 

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Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Young Harris College police chief joins sheriff’s race

News
Ken Henderson - sheriff's candidate

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Kenneth “Ode” Henderson has officially announced intent to run on the Republican ticket in the 2020 Towns County sheriff’s election.

“I will be running in the Republican primary,” Henderson stated on social media. “I have over 35 years in law enforcement and currently serve as the chief at Young Harris College and serve as a police officer for the city of McCayesville, GA. I have also worked for Towns County Sheriff’s Office, under previous administration, and Union County Sheriff’s Office at various times throughout my career. I look forward to sharing more about my qualifications with you in the future as I work to earn your support.”

Henderson joins challenger Daren “Bear” Osborn in the race against incumbent Sheriff Chris Clinton.

Image released by candidate

Correction: Henderson serves as a police officer, not police chief, with the city of McCayesville.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Bipartisan support apparent as Osborn launches sheriff’s campaign

Opinion
Osborn vs Clinton

EDITORIAL – Daren “Bear” Osborn officially launched his campaign Oct. 11, challenging Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton in the 2020 sheriff’s election, and immediate support for the opposition candidate is proving widespread. The social media response to the veteran law enforcement officer’s announcement has revealed an outpouring of mixed approval from known Republican and Democratic constituents.

Daren Bear Osborn

Daren “Bear” Osborn

Over the weekend, several hundred supporters from both sides of the political aisle favorably reacted, commented, and eagerly shared the news of Osborn’s entry into the now-contested election through social media. Remarks ranging from simple “congratulations” to overt endorsements calling for a change in leadership have surfaced in response to the publicized announcement. When asked by FYN about the outreach of bipartisan support, Osborn said that he devoted himself to a “person to person” approach prior to Friday’s formal declaration of candidacy. “You get more honest results that way,” Osborn confided.

Osborn, who challenged Clinton via the Democratic ticket in the 2012 general election, intends to campaign and run as a Republican candidate in the May 2020 primary. Osborn explained that while he has always identified as a conservative, the views of the present-day Democratic Party have shifted significantly from his moral stance, prompting his political affiliation transition.  The sheriff’s candidate was chosen as a Towns County Republican Party district delegate for the Macedonia precinct in March 2019.

Osborn’s platform, in part, includes plans to serve Towns County as a working sheriff. “Our community deserves a working sheriff that is dedicated, fair, and will ensure quality law enforcement for Towns County citizens and visitors alike,” Osborn stated on Friday.

Osborn – a Towns County native who has served in law enforcement for 33 years – has been employed as a sheriff’s deputy and criminal investigator in neighboring Union County since 2013.

Osborn is the sole challenger in the Towns County sheriff’s race at this time. According to the Towns County Board of Elections, the earliest date to qualify for candidacy is March 2, 2020.

Related Archive:

Clinton receives unfavorable response to campaign announcement

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Author

Robin H. Webb

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Towns County Sheriff Clinton defends violation of U.S. Constitution

News
Sheriff Clinton - Constitutional violation

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – A week has passed since a local reporter was denied entry to a meeting held at a government facility, and while the Towns County Republican Party and guest speaker, Chris Gaubatz, have extended apologies concerning the unconstitutional ban, Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton has defiantly defended his role in the civil rights violation.

Clinton, who takes to the air waves of a Union County-based radio station each weekday morning, was questioned about the highly controversial incident by the broadcast’s host Oct. 3. The sheriff divulged on live radio that he had, in fact, conversed with Gaubatz immediately prior to the ban and agreed that the reporter, Robin Webb, was justly targeted to prevent potential “bad press” within the conservative activism workshop.

Gaubatz later stated that his snap reaction stemmed from misleading information, presumably supplied by the sheriff, and expressed earnest regret over the handling of the situation. Towns County GOP Chairwoman Betsy Young, who did not attend the meeting, called the ban “not acceptable.”

Webb – whose regular beat includes local political coverage – held reservations for seating at the public event, accepted by the Towns County Republican Party.

Furthermore, Webb reported on Gaubatz last March without incident.  Click to read archive

Fetch Your News

Towns County GOP Vice Chair John Alger (left) en route with news of the media ban. Also pictured: Sheriff Chris Clinton (center) with Chris Gaubatz (right)

 

“Denying access was deliberate suppression of Freedom of Press set forth by an elected official sworn to uphold the Constitution,” Webb stated in reference to the sheriff’s participation in the ordeal.

True to form, Clinton attempted to portray the county reporter as a hostile, left-wing member of the media on the morning show. “We live in a country where the rules no longer apply to the Progressives…,” Clinton said in apparent support of the illicit ban, going on to talk about insurrection in Washington by the “Left.”

Civil rights’ attorneys have taken a keen interest in the unconstitutional act, calling the violation nothing short of illegal.

Towns County Attorney Robb Kiker issued a formal statement Oct. 2 on behalf of Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, whom Kiker described as “prudent in protecting the integrity of the office.” Commissioner Bradshaw was not present at the event when the incident occurred, later learning details of the situation through third-party accounts.

“I understand Mr. Bradshaw personally expressed disappointment in the handling of the matter,” Attorney Kiker said. “This is characteristic of Mr. Bradshaw because I have always found him to be a strong supporter of the Constitution and, particular to this matter, the freedom of speech.”

Georgia laws requiring a transparent government were additionally called into question by Sheriff Clinton Oct. 3.  “It’s staggering the amount of taxpayer time and resources the ‘fake news’ wastes with open records requests about nonsense. It’s stalking,” Clinton, who frequently describes investigative media as “threatening,” claimed.

Sheriff Chris Clinton

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton (left) with Chris Gaubatz at the time of the unconstitutional offense.

Open record requests filed by FYN in the past have revealed unsettling revelations, such as disproving troubling “facts” dispersed to the citizens by the sheriff himself and exposing the limited amount of time that Clinton has devoted to elected duty.

FYN submitted a request Oct. 2 to review the lead lawman’s cellular log on the evening that the media blackout occurred, a point that was negatively noted by the sheriff on-air. FYN expects to receive the legally-requested information from the Towns County Sheriff’s Office in coming days.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

CAIR director, county attorney weigh in on controversial media ban

News
Sheriff Chris Clinton

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Georgia Executive Director  Edward Ahmed Mitchell contacted FetchYourNews (FYN) Oct. 2, regarding a controversial incident occuring in Towns County last Thursday. Mitchell voiced staunch criticism toward a media ban initiated at an event sponsored by the Towns County Republican Party at the Towns County Civic Center. FYN previously reported denied entry into the “conservation activism workshop” featuring national security consultant Chris Gaubatz. Mitchell boldly described Gaubatz in the phone conversation as an “expert in anti-Islam.”

Mitchell, a former criminal prosecutor and journalist, chided that prohibiting media access was an illicit act due to the fact that the meeting was held at a government facility. Mitchell stated that he was “not surprised” that the incident had occurred, describing Gaubatz as “paranoid” and “not willing to be criticized.” What has caused greater concern, Mitchell said, was that Gaubatz’s decision to thwart media coverage was conducted “in partnership with the sheriff.”

Fetch Your News

Towns GOP 1st Chair John Alger returning the Towns County Homeland Security deputy’s identification when asked to leave the public facility. Also pictured: Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton (center) with Chris Gaubatz (right)

Gaubatz later extended an apology to FYN for prohibiting access to the “not super secret” meeting. Gaubatz explained that the decision to prevent entry was based on misleading information, presumably gained from Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, who was witnessed engaged in conversation with Gaubatz at the time that FYN was asked to leave.

The news was delivered to the political reporter by Towns County GOP 1st Vice Chair John Alger who falsely termed the meeting an “executive session.” Alger was reported by a law enforcement officer inside of the meeting as making light of the situation with Sheriff Clinton, repeating the phrase “executive session” as the reason given for denial. The issue has left local conservatives calling for Alger’s resignation as a Republican officer. Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young, who has voiced apologetic disapproval, stated that an executive board meeting will likely take place in the near future.

Based on information gathered from sources, FYN’s reporter defines the incident as “deliberate suppression of freedom of the press set forth by an elected official sworn to uphold the Constitution.”

CAIR Georgia is expected to issue an official statement on Gaubatz and the controversial incident, adding that the organization intends to contact the Towns County Republican Party and Towns County Sheriff’s Office concerning the matter.

Furthermore, a Towns County Emergency Management/Homeland Security deputy director who accompanied the reporter to the event was prevented from attending, despite reservations and official credentials presented to the speaker and the sheriff. The matter is under investigation by Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) at this time.

Sheriff Chris Clinton

Sheriff Chris Clinton with Chris Gaubatz at the Towns County Civic Center.

Towns County Attorney Robb Kiker issued a formal statement on behalf of Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, whom Kiker described as “prudent in protecting the integrity of the office.” Commissioner Bradshaw was not present at the event when the incident occurred, later learning details of the situation through third-party accounts.

“I understand Mr. Bradshaw personally expressed disappointment in the handling of the matter,” Attorney Kiker said. “This is characteristic of Mr. Bradshaw because I have always found him to be a strong supporter of the Constitution and, particular to this matter, the freedom of speech.”

Towns County Republican Chair Betsy Young, Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, and Security Consultant Chris Gaubatz did not respond to FYN’s invitation to comment on recent developments.

 

 

FYN archive: Chris Gaubatz event, March 2019:

Security consultant warns of merge between Progressive Left and Jihadi movement

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Towns County GOP, security speaker apologize for media ban

News
Sheriff Chris Clinton

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – FetchYourNews (FYN) reported on social media Thursday evening that FYN’s entry into an event sponsored by the Towns County Republican Party was denied. Chris Gaubatz, an Islamic expert and author of “Muslim Mafia,” was the scheduled speaker. Gaubatz is a national security consultant whom FYN reported on in March without incident.

Click for archive

The topic of the Sept. 26 discussion was “conservative activism” with morning and evening workshops planned. The speaking engagement was held at the Towns County Civic Center, a government-owned facility with meeting space offered to the county’s dual political parties without charge. A $10 per person reservation fee was requested for the popular event, with attendance secured the week prior for FYN’s reporter and a guest.

Chriz Gaubatz

A sign announcing the meeting at the Towns County Civic Center.

The meeting, however, did not proceed as expected.

FYN’s reporter was advised soon after arrival by Towns County 1st Vice Chairman, John Alger, that FYN’s attendance was no longer welcome at the event, purported as relayed by speaker Gaubatz. Gaubatz was witnessed in conversation with Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton outside of the public building immediately prior to notification and throughout the ordeal. Alger, who claimed that he was “just the messenger,” falsely deemed the function an “executive session” to FYN. An executive session is a term for a time block within an otherwise open meeting in which minutes are taken separately, outsiders are not permitted, and the contents of the discussion are treated as confidential.

In addition to the media ban, FYN’s guest – a Towns County Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security deputy – was also denied entry after creditials were presented through Alger. The issue was promptly forwarded by the county official to local and state authorities for appropiate review.

Fetch Your News

Towns GOP 1st Chair John Alger returning a Towns County Homeland Security deputy’s identification after the official was refused entry. Also pictured: Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton (center) with Chris Gaubatz (right)

Towns County Republican Chairwoman Betsy Young, who did not attend the workshop, extended an earnest apology to FYN the following day. Young stated that the handling of the matter was “not acceptable.” Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, who arrived at the civic center after the meeting began, additionally expressed disapproval.

Furthermore, Gaubatz contacted FYN’s reporter Monday, Sept. 30, offering sincere amends for the situation. Gaubatz relayed that while the decision was ultimately his, he did not understand the situation correctly, presumably based off questionable information received from Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton. “You being there would have been fine,” Gaubatz said in part. “I feel terrible…Looking back, I should have talked to you.” Gaubatz, who resides in Virginia, added that he hopes to personally meet with FYN’s reporter and the Homeland Security official when he returns to Towns County.

The incident has left local Republicans calling for GOP 1st Chair John Alger’s resignation due to his involvement in the situation.

Feature Image: Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton (left) with speaker Chris Gaubatz before the Republican-sponsored event.

 

FYN Archive:

Security consultant warns of merge between Progressive Left and Jihadi movement

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Sheriff’s father publicly addresses rumors of drug rehab

News
sheriff rehab rumors

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton joined the Mountain Movers and Shakers Friday, Sept. 27, as the group’s featured speaker. Clinton, who officially announced a 2020 bid for re-election last week, launched his campaign by speaking on several topics. The sheriff spoke highly of his department, frequently contrasting the prior administration’s history which led to Clinton’s special election to office in 2007.

Following Clinton’s address, Michael Clinton – the sheriff’s father – publicly delivered an unprompted statement denying pervasive rumors that the elected official has attended treatment for drug addiction.

Michael Clinton asserted that the sheriff’s policies are not objectionable, comparing the opposition to that of President Trump’s, therefore critics have resorted to personal attacks.

“It’s lies. I can’t stand people just going around telling lies about people,” Michael Clinton told the sizeable crowd. “So anyways, when you hear this stuff, know what it is. They can’t attack what he’s doing, but that before and after thing, if you had before and after pictures, I tell you what, they’d be x-rated. Back in Towns County, it was always rut season in Towns County, especially in the sheriff’s office, and there’s a big difference, and you a made a big change.”

Rutting season is a time in the fall when deer mate. Sheriff Clinton interrupted to add that he has heard of deputies, under the previous administration, bragging about “rut season” to other agencies.

“Your personal life is your business, but if your personal life ever embarrasses the sheriff’s office, you’re fired,” Michael Clinton said. “And (my son’s) Christian character is above reproach, so if y’all hear this junk, don’t listen to it. So if you really want to hear what it is, come and ask me when you see me at Ingles or whatever, but be prepared to tell me who told you it.”

Beyond agreement with the “rut season” remark, Sheriff Clinton did not dispute nor affirm his father’s statement.

Following dozens of inquiries from concerned citizens, FetchYourNews offered Sheriff Clinton an opportunity in February to suppress the widespread rumors of drug rehabilitation in an effort to dispel hearsay.

Clinton declined to address the prevalent issue, opting to permanently cease communication with the news network.

Feature Image: Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, speaking to the Mountain Movers and Shakers, Sept. 27, 2019.

 

Fetch Your News is a now news network that covers Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Rabun, and Murray counties in northern Georgia, as well as Cherokee and Clay counties in western North Carolina.  

Fetch Your News attracts over 300,000 page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month, and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com with an up to 60,000 Facebook page reach.

If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of our counties of coverage, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Clinton receives unfavorable response to campaign announcement

Opinion
sheriff

EDITORIAL – Mountain Movers and Shakers announced Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton will be their featured speaker at the group’s weekly meeting, Sept. 27. The agenda follows the sheriff’s proclamation before the Towns County Republican Party last week, stating intent to seek re-election in 2020.

If the public’s initial response to the elected official’s announcement is any indication of an approval rating, Clinton’s campaign could prove to be a challenge.

“Perhaps (Sheriff Clinton) will fill us in on the events and expected traffic for the next few months,” Mark Wolchko, a spokesman for Mountain Movers and Shakers, predicted in a press release. “Maybe he will enlighten us about the latest CLEA class. Possibly he will let us know about equipment upgrades in the sheriff’s department. Or maybe he will give us the lowdown on the next appearance of The Chris Clinton Band.”

CLEA, an acronym for the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy, consists primarily of “move-in” retirees whom Sheriff Clinton has referred to as personal “lobbyists” in the past. The group additionally serves as charity fund raisers and security staff at local events, such as concerts at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds.

The majority of Mountain Movers and Shakers’ active participants are CLEA alumni.

Sheriff Clinton shined a spotlight on CLEA during his GOP campaign announcement Thursday evening at the Towns County Civic Center.

“How many folks here have been through CLEA? Do you mind raising your hands? Every group I go to in the county, everywhere we go, I got people sitting in the group that’s been through the citizen law enforcement academy,” Clinton said. “These volunteers, by the end of the year, we hit about 2,000 hours, or about what would amount to me having to ask our commissioner for the $51,000, if we were going to do it ourselves, is being done by volunteers because we have men and women who believe in what we’re doing at the sheriff’s office.”

Should Clinton choose to promote his band at Friday’s meeting, however, citizen feedback could prove less than favorable.

sheriff

Sheriff Clinton performing on town square in July 2018.

Widespread disapproval of The Chris Clinton Band’s schedule was brought to FetchYourNews’ attention in relation to the 2017 “Great American Eclipse,” an event that was anticipated by Clinton to draw thousands of solar enthusiasts to the Towns County area. Sheriff Clinton, who performs with his wife in the now two-man band, opted to host a concert at a local establishment during the highly publicized event. Members of the Towns County Homeowners’ Association – since renamed the Towns County Civic Association – along with numerous first responders, voiced stern criticism toward Clinton’s priorities.

Chris Clinton - Sheriff

Promotion for the Chris Clinton Band’s 2017 eclipse event.

Scrutiny later emerged in July 2018, following a band performance that corresponded with a deputy missing in action, along with a county inmate, during a wilderness search for alleged human remains near Brasstown Bald.

Public comments concerning the Clintons’ “small business” and the sheriff’s elected performance continue to appear on social media in response to the official’s recent bid for re-election.

Click to read comments and view reactions on original post.

While no contenders for the Office of the Sheriff have entered the race at this time, challengers are expected to announce candidacy in coming weeks.

Sheriff Clinton is scheduled to address Mountain Movers and Shakers this Friday at 8 a.m. at Sundance Grill in Hiawassee.

Meetings are open to the public.

Sheriff Clinton Archives

Feature Image: Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton draws tickets for door prizes at Thursday’s GOP meeting.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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