TBI may be asked to investigate scandal involving Mayor Berke
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – What publicly started as a report about a domestic dispute between Mayor Andy Berke’s senior advisor and her husband has quickly turned into a political scandal that could possibly lead to a TBI investigation.
Should the TBI get involved, they’re expected to investigate whether or not Chattanooga police officers properly handled the arrest of Robert Stone.
This past weekend, Stone was arrested and charged with domestic assault.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by News 12, Lacie Stone, 38, of Chattanooga called a friend who worked at the Chattanooga Police Department to report domestic violence by her husband at the coupe’s home.
Lacie Stone is Mayor Andy Berke’s senior advisor.
According to the arrest affidavit, Stone told her friend that her husband, Robert Stone, 54, was going to kill her.
Red flags were raised after the police report didn’t name the friend who was called.
“There are reports that says it was a high police official contacted. Of course everybody knows who that is so why would it be left off,” said Chattanooga City Councilman Larry Grohn.
Online media outlet Chattanoogan.com has reported the “friend” to be Police Chief Fred Fletcher.
Fletcher told Chattanoogan.com that he instructed Lacie Stone to come to his home where he knew she would be safe then called for other officers to investigate.
Another red flag was raised when Lacie Stone chose to call the police chief to say her husband was going to kill her instead of calling 911 to request immediate help.
A bombshell was dropped when Chattanoogan.com reported the domestic assault to be the result of an affair between Lacie Stone and Mayor Andy Berke. The unnamed source of that story told a Chattanoogan.com reporter that Robert Stone caught his wife making out with the mayor behind a Chattanooga restaurant. The unnamed source for that story also told the Chattanoogan.com that Stone had previously caught his wife trading sexual text messages with the mayor.
Mr. Stones Attorney released this statement regarding the allegation as well as the response to the allegation from Mayor Berke and Chief Fletcher:
Our intent was never to discuss private matters between Bobby and Lacie Stone in the media. The
underlying facts concerning the arrest of my client Bobby Stone on Saturday, May 21, 2016, are largely
private and should remain between Mr. Stone and his wife until they are presented in court. However, the
Mayor and Chief of Police have chosen to release information now to the media. Each person has his own
motives for why they choose to release information now concerning a pending case, and the public can
look at the relationships involved and decide for themselves why.
I suspect the source for the release of this information initially came from within the Chattanooga Police
Department, but I cannot say for sure that it did. I do know that it did not come from Mr. Stone or anyone
representing his interests. I also know that it is highly unusual for Chief Fletcher or Mayor Berke to
comment on a pending case in Hamilton County General Sessions Court before the case has been to court.
I am highly concerned by these officials’ actions and their voluntary choice to publicly offer opinions about
a pending court case when each of them has a personal and professional interest involved. It is not fair to
Mr. Stone and it is a disservice to the court.
What I can say on behalf of Mr. Stone to these media releases is the following. Mr. Stone was asked to
leave his home early Saturday morning by Chattanooga Police and he spent the next several hours in their
custody being questioned by the police about the circumstances concerning an argument that he had with
his wife. Mr. Stone answered the police questions truthfully and cooperated fully. He was charged and is
scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, May 31. Mr. Stone is not guilty of any criminal charge, but he
fully acknowledges that he and his wife argued over private issues concerning their marriage. After the
argument, his wife went to the home of Chattanooga Police Chief Fletcher. From there, the course of
events was dictated by the police and perhaps later the mayor’s office. Mr. Stone has made no public
statements concerning the specific facts of the case and will not. I ask that Chief Fletcher and Mayor Berke
refrain from making further self-serving statements and allow the parties the privacy they are deserve until
this matter can be fairly decided by an impartial judge. These publicly released comments that officials
choose to make are clearly intended to influence the public and possibly the court. That is fundamentally