Heated comments lead to harassment claim

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By MIKE EDDLEMAN

For a second straight Council meeting, former Planning & Zoning Chair Chris Pezold addressed Council members during the public comments period calling for answers regarding allegations he may have violated ethics rules in local development dealings.

“When are they going to investigate me?” Pezold asked. “I want someone to go through the process of filing an official complaint with the City and cite what I have done. I still do not know what I am accused of, but whatever it was it got Rick (Hall) the majority he needed to get a fat salary. Just watch, you will not have to wait long, I promise. Here’s an idea, apologize and acknowledge that you made a mistake in attacking my character.”

Pezold said the allegations against him were similar to those he saw against former Mayor Connie Fuller in the 2018 election.

“Rick ran on unverified claims of corruption by the previous Mayor. His sidekick, (Steve) McIntosh ran with the same playbook. Other than claiming corruption that we still have not seen any evidence of, we do not know what they want to do for Liberty Hill except fill potholes.”

The tension between Pezold and Council member Steve McIntosh appeared to boil over this time following words exchanged outside before the meeting and after Pezold’s comments before the Council.

At one point McIntosh spoke with Liberty Hill Police about comments made by Pezold, leading an officer to speak to Pezold outside regarding the incident.

Police Chief Maverick Campbell verified Tuesday that there was an incident and there was a request made for police involvement, but that it did not go beyond a discussion with Pezold.

“At this point there is no active investigation,” said Campbell. “Officers responded at the request of the complaining party regarding an incident that occurred outside before the start of Council.”

Campbell said no report was being filed on the incident, but verified it was a “verbal disturbance”.

Pezold admitted the two exchanged words in the parking lot prior to the meeting, but he disagreed over what prompted the complaint. He said he believed the claim of harassment was made after he spoke during public comments because he was not approached by officers until the Council went into executive session.

“(McIntosh) didn’t do anything about it before the meeting, that was 30 minutes before the meeting started,” Pezold said. “He didn’t talk to the police (in the parking lot), only when I’m in the meeting, after I spoke, he was trying to stop me from speaking. If he felt something happened in the parking lot, he had all the time before the meeting to go talk to them.”

McIntosh did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment on the incident.

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