By Jayson Knight
Former Grady County District 1 Commissioner Michael Walker accepted a plea deal on two charges each of Unlawful Use of Communication, Intimidation of Witness, and Conspiracy.
Instead of six felony counts, Walker was convicted of a single misdemeanor: Willfully Disturbing, Interfering, Disrupting County Business.
The conviction comes with a five-year deferred sentence. During that time, Walker is ordered to have no contact with the victims, and he is restricted from holding any public office until October 26, 2028.
His co-defendant in the case was Neal Locke, who recently ran unopposed for the City of Minco’s Chief of Police election. Locke has not accepted the plea deal.
With felony charges still pending, and with the advice of Minco City Attorney Bryce Kennedy, the City of Minco chose not to swear Locke in.
For now, the acting Chief of Police will remain Frederick Johnson, who has been the interim chief since June.
Minco’s city council decided Tuesday to allow Minco citizens to vote on whether or not the council should be allowed to appoint someone they see fit for the position.
Currently, as the ordinance reads, the city’s Chief of Police must live in city limits. Chief Frederick does not, but Minco Mayor Susan Hollandsworth believes he is the man for the job.
“He’s doing a very fine job and we have police,” the mayor said Monday. “We’re fine. There are two full time officers, and the guy that’s going to CLEET, he’ll be full time, so that gives us three, and there are two part-time, and (Frederick)’s working on a couple of reserves. We want to change the ordinance so you don’t have to live here. This will be so that we can hire people for the city clerk and the chief of police that do not live here.”
The conspiracy cases against Walker and Locke stems from an embezzlement case filed in 2021 against Walker, in which he was accused of having work done on a private road that he lived on. Walker was found not guilty in that case.