TBI probes arrest of husband of Chattanooga mayor’s aide

Bobby Stone (Photo: WTVC)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the domestic violence arrest involving the husband of a top aide to Chattanooga’s mayor.

Exactly what led to the alleged domestic incident is unclear, but it resulted in the mayor and the city’s police chief taking the unusual step of offering statements denying unspecified involvement with the aide.

The TBI issued a statement Friday saying it was asked to investigate the arrest of Bobby Stone by Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston. The agency declined to give any more details, and Pinkston was out of his office Friday afternoon.

Lacie Stone, who is a top aide to Mayor Andy Berke, went to police Chief Fred Fletcher’s house last week after getting into an altercation with her husband, Bobby Stone. According to the police report cited by several news outlets, the Stones had argued about her cellphone, which was crushed during the incident.

Police said Bobby Stone dragged his wife by the belt and told her to leave the home, and Lacie Stone told officers she hit her husband in the forehead. When she left the home, her husband allegedly threw a rock through the rear window of her car.

Bobby Stone was charged with domestic assault and malicious vandalism, and was later released on bond.

His attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment. However, the lawyer, Lee Davis, previously issued a statement criticizing the mayor and police chief for making public statements about the case.

Berke issued a statement earlier this week to deny what he called “numerous false allegations about me and other people involved in city government” by Bobby Stone.

“Let me be clear: The allegations are absolutely false,” Berke said in the statement.

Fletcher said in a statement that he had dined at the Stones’ home earlier Friday along with his wife and two other couples. An hour after leaving, he said he received a panicked phone call from Lacie Stone saying her husband had hurt her. Fletcher said he told her to come to his home, where he arranged for officers to meet her and investigate the case.

“I made it clear that this incident will be investigated the same as any other crime,” he said.

“I know there have been untrue allegations made about my relationship with Ms. Stone, and they are unequivocally false,” the chief said. “Mr. and Mrs. Stone are my friends and I was saddened to hear about this incident. I am glad she called me and was able to leave what she considered to be a dangerous situation.”

A spokesman for Fletcher issued a statement Friday saying the police department fully cooperated with prosecutors and would also do so with TBI.

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