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Walthourville mayor faces complaint
Larry Baker

A complaint was filed on Aug. 21, alleging that Walthourville City Mayor Larry Baker sent inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate calls to a city employee.

The Courier received a copy of the complaint through an Open Records request on Sept. 21, but will not name the alleged victim of the harassment.

In the complaint the woman said she first received a phone call from Baker while she was at a local hospital grieving the loss of her grandmother. 

The employee said Baker called her to say that he was, “sweet on her,” since January. The complainant said that Baker asked her to send nude photos of her, “with the head cut off,” to his cellphone. The employee said Baker requested her lunch schedule so they could meet up somewhere. The woman alleges that Baker said he could stop by the Walthourville Police Department where they could use the bathroom since there are no security cameras in that room. 

“Mayor Baker said some very inappropriate sayings to me which made me very uncomfortable,” the complainant wrote.

She said after she hung up the phone Baker sent her a text message saying that he misses her and wished he could be with her to hold her during her time of grief. 

“Mayor Baker called my phone three times and texted my phone two times after the conversation,” she wrote in her complaint. “I didn’t answer Mayor Baker’s calls and texts after that. I feel very uncomfortable to be in a room with Mayor Baker without the presence of someone else.”

Walthourville Police Chief Jerry Blash confirmed a complaint was made and filed with the city clerk.

Baker issued a statement through his attorney, Jay Osteen of Osteen and Osteen Law Firm, and said the claims made against him are absurd.

I absolutely deny these allegations,” Baker stated. “I will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, where, in the end, I will be fully exonerated.”

Meanwhile a resident of Walthourville has filed a petition to recall Mayor Baker and Councilwoman Sarah Hayes. Paulette Jamison, who filed similar petitions against former Mayor Daisy Pray, filed her petitions in Liberty County Superior Court on Sept. 18. In her petition, a copy of which was obtained by the Courier, Jamison mentions the inappropriate conduct against the city employees. 

The petition also alleges the improper hiring of two former city employees, one of which was previously fired for misconduct and tampering with employee records, an incident confirmed by documents obtained by the Courier from the Georgia Department of Labor.

The Courier is requesting more documents and is reaching out to the various parties involved for responses.

We will continue to follow and update this story as information becomes available.

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