Liberty County Commissioner Marion Stevens confirmed this week he was cleared by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in a Dec. 22, 2012, traffic incident. The investigation was completed last month, Stevens said, but he would not comment further.
The Courier based a story last January on a GBI investigation of an incident reported by Cliff Ray to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 27, 2012. The story ran in the Jan. 2, 2013, Courier.
The Courier reported Ray told authorities he was driving west on Highway 196 when a Chevy Trailblazer allegedly flashed red and blue lights at him. Ray, who pulled over, said the lights appeared to be mounted on the SUV’s dash.
In the report, Ray claims that Stevens got out, threatened to write him a ticket and used foul language.
Stevens told the Courier for that story that he was unaware of the complaint made by Ray and the pending investigation until the newspaper contacted him. He told reporters he never identified himself as a police officer nor did he turn on his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop.
Stevens told the Courier he was on his way to Moody Funeral Home in Claxton on the day of the alleged incident when a motorist traveling ahead of him began to brake near Elim Church Road in Gum Branch. Stevens said he flashed his headlights at the driver, and the man pulled off the road near Shuman’s Stop & Shop service station.
The commissioner said the man pulled onto the grassy shoulder while Stevens remained on the pavement. Stevens said he pulled up beside the other driver but never exited his vehicle. He said he asked the man if there was a problem.
Stevens said that the man, in a harsh manner, used foul language in his answer.
The commissioner said they left the area, but he then noticed the man following him. Stevens said the man followed him for roughly 38 miles into Glennville before the man pulled up next to Stevens at a light and rolled down his window.
Stevens said the man began to yell at him.
The commissioner said he proceeded to the funeral home and was surprised to see the man pull up behind him and step out of his car. The driver said, “I want to know who you are and who are you with,” Stevens said.
Stevens said he didn’t respond and entered the funeral home. He said someone at the funeral home told him the man took a photo of Stevens’ license plate and left.
Stevens was told to file a report in Liberty County, where the incident began.