Publisher claims arrest was attempt to tarnish image
MISSISSIPPI–A newspaper publisher who was arrested and then released in late May after surrendering to police in Jackson claims the arrest was politically motivated, and designed to tarnish his image shortly before a hearing on his criminal complaint against a city councilmember.
Jackson Advocate publisher Charles Tisdale was arrested on charges of misdemeanor simple assault and abusive language contained in an affidavit filed in late April 1994 by Herbert Lee Jr. of Jackson, when an argument between the men erupted after Tisdale lost a repossession case handled by Lee, who was his attorney.
Following a hearing in late May 1995 at Jackson Municipal Court, both men told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that the hearing should not have taken place since the publisher had dropped his charges against Lee in early 1994.
According to a report in the Clarion-Ledger, Lee filed countercharges in 1995 because he said he did not know Tisdale’s charges against him had been dropped. But Tisdale said the countercharges actually were from 1994, and had been dropped.
Tisdale claimed the arrest was set up by the city’s mayor, Kane Ditto, and Councilman Credell Calhoun in an attempt to tarnish the publisher’s reputation.
“This is an attempt to make me look like a vicious person in the face of assault charges filed by me against Credell Calhoun,” Tisdale told the Clarion-Ledger. Tisdale charged Calhoun in February with simple assault after a disagreement, the newspaper reported. A hearing is scheduled for June 7.
Calhoun said he knew nothing about the charges against Tisdale or the arrest.