The Maneater

Crayton claims threats

First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton filed a complaint against John G. Clark, a former mayoral candidate and community activist, following a threat she claimed occurred Sunday.

Crayton claims Clark came to her home Sunday night at approximately 10:20 p.m. and threatened her, saying that if she voted for a controversial development plan, she would lose her City Council seat.

The plan, which was approved 5-2 by the council, calls for a mixed development area to be built at the corner of Sexton Road and Garth Avenue.

The development includes an Alp's grocery store and several other stores. The City Council met Monday to discuss the development and Crayton voted against the project.

Clark, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2004, is named the assailant in the police report filed on Wednesday. According to Columbia police Sgt. Dan Beckman, Crayton took the event as a threat and a form of bullying.

"He allegedly told her that if she didn't vote against the development that he would make sure she was removed from her post as councilwoman and any other future political aspirations," Beckman said.

Police have spoken with both Crayton and Clark, but the incident is still under investigation. Beckman said Clark did not think he was "overbearing or threatening in any way" when he spoke to Crayton Sunday night.

"He said that he was standing in the front yard and relayed a message to her that he received from a member of the Ridgeway Neighborhood Association that they were unhappy with her," Beckman said.

The 5-2 vote in favor of the development ended nearly two years of debate about the plan.

Neither Crayton nor Clark returned phone calls on Thursday.

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