Thompson denies Gorsons' charges he sped up, drove at them
Contrary to published reports in another newspaper, the Taft Police Department did not conduct a criminal investigation into an alleged incident involving Taft City Councilman Cliff Thompson and City Manager Bob Gorson and Gorson’s wife, Maria.
Police did take a general information report the day after the alleged incident occurred.
The report stated it was “for information only” and the officer who took the report quoted Robert Gorson as saying he wanted the incident documented “in case there is any further trouble.”
Thompson said he was “shocked” at the allegations when he first heard of them this week and called them “completely false.”
“It never happened,” he said Friday
The relationship between the city manager and the councilman have become severely strained after a real estate deal went bad, costing Gorson $200,000 and landing Thompson in bankruptcy court.
Thompson, in the meantime, is alleging that Gorson has illegally given several city employees raises, a charge Gorson has vehemently denied.
Taft Police released a copy on an informational report Friday morning.
The report was taken on Oct. 13 at 4:10 p.m. and approved the next day by a sergeant.
It was approved for released by Chief Ken McMinn Friday morning.
The report was taken about 18 hours after the alleged incident took place.
Maria and Bob Gorson said that they were walking southbound from Alpine along Hillard, north of Rails to Trails about 8 p.m. on Oct. 12.
(Thompson lives on Alpine just across the street from the Gorsons, who live at the intersection of Alpine and Hillard.)
Maria Gorson told the officer that she “heard the sound of a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed,” according to the report.
She told the officer that she saw Thompson’s maroon truck going west in the alley behind Alpine and the truck “accelerated instead of slowing down." The couple was forced to run across the alley and that Thompson’s truck missed them by only three feet.
She said it made a sharp turn onto Hillard then back onto Alpine, where Thompson lives
Her husband’s account was essentially the same, according to the investigating officer
Bob Gorson also told the officer that he saw Thompson in the truck and the couple had to scurry across the alley to get out of the way.
Bob Gorson told the officer the truck missed them by 35 to 40 feet, according to the report.
Both Gorsons said the truck was “unmistakably” Thompson’s and the councilman was driving it.
Thompson said he was in fact driving down the alley, but much more slowly than the Gorson's allege.
Thompson said he had been coming home through the alley because his rear fence had been vandalized.
Thompson said he remembered seeing the Gorson’s that evening from his truck, but said he was only driving 5 to 10 miles per hour and even acknowledged them.
“I waved at them and they kept on walking to Rails to Trails,” Thompson said.
He said he never got closer than 50 feet away from them.
Gorson told the investigating officer that he did not want him to contact Thompson, but “merely wanted the incident documented in case there is further trouble.”