Cov­ing­ton Mayor drops ‘bomb’ about past at meet­ing

The Covington News - - LOCAL - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­news.com

Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie Johnston said the so­cial me­dia al­le­ga­tions against him have gone too far in a state­ment Mon­day night dur­ing the Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil’s reg­u­lar meet­ing.

Johnston said he is both­ered by the hate he feels from res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity. He said the hate has moved from just him to his fam­ily and his chil­dren.

“This has got to stop, it’s got to stop,” he said.

Johnston has re­port­edly been told that he is go­ing to be em­bar­rassed and he should move his fam­ily out of the city be­cause of in­for­ma­tion so­cial me­dia users have about him.

“I’m not try­ing to be too strong, I’m try­ing to tell you I’m a lit­tle ticked off,” he said. “This has gone too far.”

Johnston said com­mu­nity mem­bers on so­cial me­dia have talked about a “big bomb” that is get­ting ready to come out against him. Johnston wanted to clear the air and tell city res­i­dents about the bomb him­self.

“Back, 16 years ago to­mor­row — ex­actly 16 years ago to­mor­row (Tues­day) — I lived in Johns Creek, I was 37 years old,” he said. “We had four kids — I think our last one was born at that time — and I drove ev­ery day into Nor­cross.

“And that day I drove into Nor­cross some­thing hap­pened that for­ever changed my life.”

Johnston said he was driv­ing down a road that had a turn lane in the mid­dle. In the turn lane was a school bus.

“I had a lit­tle rag top Jeep be­cause at the time that’s all I could af­ford be­cause I had four kids at home,” he said. “But as I was driv­ing down that road I passed the school bus and as I passed that school bus I heard a big thump on the side of my car — the driver’s door.”

Johnston said he ini­tially had no idea what hap­pened be­cause he was look­ing straight ahead so he slammed on his brakes and got out of his car.

“A gentleman with a bike had gone into the side of my car,” he said. “He died,” he said. Johnston said that in­ci­dent is the big bomb so­cial me­dia users are threat­en­ing to use against him.

“I don’t even like to talk about it that much, I have kind of a hard time with it,” he said. “But, tech­ni­cally speak­ing there was an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, there was a death. I was never given a ticket.”

Johnston said he was not drink­ing dur­ing the in­ci­dent, as it hap­pened around 8 a.m. in the morn­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Johnston, he is work­ing with Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment (CPD) Chief Stacey Cot­ton to ac­quire the in­ci­dent re- port and in­ves­ti­ga­tion doc­u­men­ta­tion from the in­ci­dent. Once those doc­u­ments are ac­quired, Johnston said he will pro­vide them to the pub­lic. Cot­ton con­firmed with The Cov­ing­ton News that he is try­ing to use his con­tacts to find the re­ports for Johnston.

“The bot­tom line is, that’s what hap­pened and I thought it was im­por­tant to come out and just tell y’all. That’s the big bomb,” he said.

Johnston said he loves be­ing the mayor of the City of Cov­ing­ton and plans to con­tinue to serve in that po­si­tion.

“You’re not go­ing to get rid of me that easy be­cause I’m not go­ing any­where,” he said. “This ain’t noth­ing. This is a very sad and painful thing for me to talk about.”

Johnston

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