Congressman's wife files charge against Tomlinson supporter - WNCN: News, Weather

Congressman's wife files charge against Tomlinson supporter

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Vivian Creighton-Bishop, wife of U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop and Columbus Municipal Court Clerk, claims she was physically assaulted Tuesday by a supporter of incumbent Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

Bishop says Douglas McLeod, a neighborhood watchman, grabbed her arm at a fundraising event and said, "If you don't support Teresa Tomlinson, you will be sorry." She claims that after asking him to remove his hands, he began yelling in front of a crowd.

State Senator Ed Harbison (D-GA) was nearby during the altercation, and decided to intervene by helping separate McLeod and Bishop. He says, "When I got there I was totally unprepared for that, and just didn't expect it. It's something out of the blue, so I was shocked by it because I've never seen that happen in that kind of setting before."

Bishop, who is also Columbus' Municipal Court Clerk, says she called the Secret Service agent assigned to protect her family. He told her to file a police report. Bishop says she has filed both a police report and a stalking charge in Superior Court, keeping McLeod from coming within 1000 feet.

Bishop says she has never formally endorsed Tomlinson's opponent Colin Martin although she supports him in his bid for mayor, but she says it should not matter who she supports. "I think anybody and everybody has a right to vote, support, endorse the person of their choice, and that they should not be threatened," says Bishop. "They should not be intimidated, and they certainly shouldn't be approached in the aggressive manner he approached me in."

Despite his support for Tomlinson, the mayor says McLeod is not a campaign worker or volunteer, and she is disappointed by the negativity. She says, "I don't think the campaign is responsible for this at all. I would say that we don't run a campaign that's anything like this. We haven't even been negative in our campaign. We've run a very positive, very respectful campaign, and so any sort of alleged conduct such as this is something we would not tolerate, obviously."

McLeod declined to tell us his side of the story. He will testify before a Superior Court judge May 28.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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