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Mitchell man calls mayor ‘a drunk’ at meeting; mayor calls accusations ‘lies’

A Mitchell man publicly called Mayor Jerry Toomey "a drunk" Monday night and made several other accusations, to which the mayor told the man to "sit down and shut up."...

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Jerry Toomey has a laugh while sitting at the head of Mitchell City Council after having been sworn in as the new mayor on Monday night. Toomey replaces Ken Tracy who served as mayor for three years and was a councilman for nine years prior to that. (Matt Gade/Republic)

A Mitchell man publicly called Mayor Jerry Toomey “a drunk” Monday night and made several other accusations, to which the mayor told the man to “sit down and shut up.”

Brad Bowling spoke at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting and accused Toomey of driving under the influence and berating Bowling for running through a stop light on Main Street.

Bowling spoke during citizen input at Monday night’s meeting, using his three-minute portion of citizen input to accuse the mayor of following him home, honking his car horn and standing on his driveway shaking his hands in an “agitated” manner.

“He smelled like alcohol, there was no ifs, ands or buts about it,” said Bowling, who referred to the incident as happening “in September.” It was later learned the incident occurred in August 2015, according to Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg.

It was unclear as to why Bowling waited more than a year to address the unfounded accusations.

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After the meeting, Toomey said he was “disturbed” by the allegations, and said he did follow Bowling that night due to concerns with Bowling’s driving. Toomey also said he was the person who informed Mitchell police.

As far as his breath smelling of alcohol, Toomey said he was too far away for Bowling to have possible smelled alcohol on his breath.
“He’s got a h--- of a nose is all I got to say,” Toomey said.

Toomey also suggested it was Bowling who appeared to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

When speaking about the alleged incident, Bowling said Toomey told him “I’m the mayor of Mitchell,” and Bowling said Toomey then threatened the police on him.

When Bowling’s time was up, Toomey told Bowling to, “Sit down” before refuting his statements.

“I think I’ve heard enough lies already,” Toomey said.

Toomey did not deny an altercation occurred, but he said Bowling had run through three stop signs or lights that evening.

Immediately after the alleged altercation, Bowling said a Mitchell police officer came to his home and provided a breath test, to which Bowling said he blew a “0.0.”

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Overweg also did not deny the altercation occurred when Bowling discussed details of the incident. After the meeting, Overweg said Bowling was issued a verbal warning for running a stop light, but no charges were filed and Toomey never signed a formal complaint.

But Bowling, who said he has experience working for the Department of Corrections, was certain of his allegations against Toomey.

“This is a public safety issue,” Bowling said. “First off, I’ve got a guy chasing me down the street, and he’s intoxicated.”

Toomey disputed some aspects of Bowling’s story, including that Toomey was driving a blue car -- he said his vehicle was red -- and that Bowling ran three lights.

There was no discussion from the City Council, other citizens or any department heads following the citizen input session.

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