By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper Messenger

PHILADELPHIA - Mayor Clark Adams of DeKalb was found not of Simple Assault Domestic in Neshoba County Justice Court here Monday afternoon.

The misdemeanor charge stemmed from a confrontation between Adams and his business associate, Karen Griffin that occurred March 29, 2015.

Adams and Griffin were preparing to open a personal care home in Neshoba County. Griffin said they were arguing about work that needed to be completed so the business could open.

In sworn testimony, Griffin said Adams was cussing at her throughout the argument. She said she told him to stop, and if he didn’t, “she was going to cuss him “in a way he couldn’t stand.”

She said the cussing continued and she made her statement. She said Adams grabbed her and chocked her. When she fought loose, she fell and hit her right shoulder and hand on the ground. She said her shoulder was broken by the fall, and she had to have surgery and physical therapy.

Griffin said Adams took her keys and phone and said he was going to throw them in a ditch. She said the glass on her phone was broken. She said they continued to argue; then Adams threw the keys and phone down on her car and left.

She said she called 911.

Adams did not testify in the trial. However, Fred Currie, who works for Adams and was there to cut the grass that day, witnessed the argument.

In sworn testimony, Currie said Adams never touched or pushed Griffin. Currie said Griffin was angry and cussing and complaining to Adams. “It was something about a picture,” Currie said.

“Clark asked her, ‘what is it you want?’” Currie said. “They were standing face-to-face. She stepped back and fell. I helped her up. I was done with the grass so we left.”

When answering questions from the state, Currie said he had a full-time job but also worked part-time for Adams. He said he and Adams were friends.

Adams’ attorney, Steve Settlemires, pointed out to Justice Court Judge Steve Cumberland that this case has been heard in different courts over the past three years. He added that Griffin had filed a quarter of a million dollar lawsuit that had been dismissed. Griffin said she is appealing the dismissal.

“For Mr. Adams to be convicted there cannot be a shadow of doubt of his guilt,” Settlemires said.

Judge Cumberland indicated that he had heard the testimony in an earlier hearing, adding that all the stories had just about stayed the same.

Judge Cumberland noted that the charge is simple assault domestic. He asked if Adams and Griffin had ever lived together, and both said no.

“As far as I can see, there is no one here guilty of domestic abuse,” Cumberland said as he found Adams not guilty.

Adams declined comment after the trial.

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