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Smith accuser arrested
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A man who accused Hinesville mayoral candidate Sampie Smith of having a gun at his side during a verbal altercation in June has been arrested.
Robert Michael Waltz has been charged with theft by taking and financial transaction card theft, a felony.
Waltz’s mother, Ingrid, called Hinesville police Sept. 2 when she noticed a credit card missing from her purse. She reported last seeing the card Aug. 28 when she used it to fuel her car.
Waltz called the credit card company and learned $1,000 had been charged to her account. She believed her son was responsible because of a prior incident. She told officers she had not seen her son since Aug.31.
According to public records, Robert Waltz was arrested in November and charged with three counts of financial identity fraud and one count of theft by taking when he took two of his mother’s credit cards and charged about $9,000 on them.
Because he was a first-time offender, he was sentenced to 10 years probation, community service and ordered to pay restitution.
He was given community service work outside the Records Retention Center, where Smith is the executive director.
A verbal dispute ensued when Waltz asked one of the records-center employees if he could use the bathroom inside the building. The employee became concerned and called Smith to the center. Smith then told Waltz not to interfere with his employees.
Waltz claimed Smith approached him with a pistol at his side — a claim Smith has vehemently denied, calling it pure “poppycock.”
Waltz said he filed a police report because there is a negative history between Smith and himself.
Waltz, who resides nearby, said someone burglarized Smith’s house in October and he believes Smith suspects he did it. Since then, there has been tension between them, he said.
Warrants were issued Sept. 12, for the arrest of Waltz based on his mother’s report of the stolen credit card and a lawn mower that was taken from her premises. He was later arrested.
Because Waltz violated conditions of his probation, bond was denied.
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