Grand Jury Foreman Speaks Out About Warner Robins Council Tapes

A recording of a closed session city council meeting in Warner Robins was released to the public. Now, Councilman Bob Wilbanks is accusing Mayor Chuck Shaheen of holding a grudge against Warner Robins Police Chief, Brett Evans.

In the recording, Shaheen tells council members what happened when a grand jury foreman contacted him about the conduct of Police Chief Brett Evans, and the suicide of former Mayor, Donald Walker. Wilbanks says a grand jury never contacted the mayor, but the mayor stands by his comments.

“I wanted to serve the people of Warner Robins. When I became the mayor I had no idea that I was going to be called to the grand jury about this,” said Shaheen.

Councilman Bob Wilbanks, who released the tapes, says Shaheen’s comments are untrue and no grand jury contacted the mayor.

“I don’t think the grand jury had any formal questioning,” said Wilbanks.

The story is one word against another, so 41 NBC contacted the Houston County Grand Jury Foreman to set the record straight to figure out if the jury contacted the mayor, and if so, why.

“I invited the mayor to come back. He did not use his authority to come see us or anything I personally invited him back and all 23 grand jurors listened to the stuff that we talked about. I can’t get into the specifics about what was said. We had concerns about why wasn’t the gun residue looked into more,” said Houston County Grand Jury Foreman, Peter Wilkens.

Shaheen says after consulting the GBI about the gun residue, it’s time for the city of Warner Robins to move on from the closed case.

“I went to the GBI and asked them, what do you think about doing a follow up investigation? They said they don’t think it was substantial evidence, so that’s where it is and I’m moving our city forward,” said Shaheen.

Wilbanks says releasing the tape had nothing to do with Donald Walker’s suicide. Instead, he wanted expose the mayor’s grudge against Police Chief Evans to the public. Wilbanks describes the document Shaheen sent to the Peace Officer Standards and Training after Chief Evans was suspended for political activity during a campaign.

“If we sent a C-11 form to post, notifying them of his suspension, that’s all that should have had on it. It shouldn’t have had GBI concerns, grand jury concerns, ticket fixing and all that other miscellaneous, man I can’t use the word I want to, that was listed on that form,” said Wilbanks.

Shaheen says he holds no hard feelings toward police Chief Evans.

“I don’t have a personal vendetta against the police chief. If you look at history, he put the sign in his yard first and not only that, but he admitted to having other police officers calling citizens and tell them who to vote for. Crossed the line,” said Shaheen.

Mayor Shaheen also said that although it may not have been illegal for Wilbanks to release the tapes, that it was unethical.

Categories: Local News

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