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Bobby Stone in court.

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Statement from City

Marissa Bell, Communications Coordinator for the City of Chattanooga, released this statement:
"No information we received today changes the previous statements we have made.

The Mayor's Office does not get involved in any police investigations. Stacy Richardson did not influence this investigation and only went to pick up Lacie Stone from the Fletcher's home.

Mayor Berke has absolute confidence that the Chattanooga Police Department conducted the investigation on their own and without influence from the Mayor's Office, the Chief of Police's Office, or anyone else. In addition, Mayor Berke has already stated that all allegations made by Mr. Stone are absolutely false."


"No information we received today changes the previous statements we have made.

The Mayor's Office does not get involved in any police investigations. Stacy Richardson did not influence this investigation and only went to pick up Lacie Stone from the Fletcher's home.

Mayor Berke has absolute confidence that the Chattanooga Police Department conducted the investigation on their own and without influence from the Mayor's Office, the Chief of Police's Office, or anyone else. In addition, Mayor Berke has already stated that all allegations made by Mr. Stone are absolutely false."

Lacie Stone statement

Lacie Stone's lawyer, John Cavett, released the below statement on behalf of his client:

"The last six months of my life have been extremely difficult. Anytime you have difficulties in your marriage you want to keep it private. In the unfortunate event that those problems escalate to physical violence, as it did to me on May 20, the last thing you want to do is talk to members of the media about.

My husband continues to make untrue allegations about me, my colleagues, and what happened that night. Those allegations are completely false. I just want to bring this unfortunate event to close, move on with my life, and ask everyone to respect my privacy going forward."

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Lacie Stone of Gaining Ground speaks about the importance of locally produced food Sunday at the final day of She: An Expo for Women.
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Motion to dismiss Bobby Stone

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A judge dismissed domestic assault charges against Bobby Stone, husband to one of Mayor Andy Berke's top advisers. 

After the hearing, Stone charged that his wife, Lacie Stone, was having an affair with Berke, and that Berke's office had orchestrated a coverup.

Bobby Stone filed for divorce later in the day on the grounds that his wife committed adultery.  

Both Berke and Lacie Stone have denied Robert Stone's claims. Police have denied a coverup. 

Judge Lila Statom accepted District Attorney General Neal Pinkston's motion to dismiss the charges after reading it this morning in Hamilton County Sessions Court.

The dismissal wraps up Robert Stone's criminal matter, which began when Lacie Stone called Chattanooga Police Department chief Fred Fletcher and said her husband was trying to kill her in late May.

Bobby Stone, 54, told investigators his wife was having an affair and that he confronted her texting the other man outside on their porch. The other man, he said, was Mayor Andy Berke, who has denied the allegations.

Concerned by the "unusual concerns" that Berke and Fletcher's comments were raising, Pinkston asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to provide an independent look into how the police handled the case.

Although his spokeswoman Melydia Clewell said that TBI report is sealed by Tennessee law, Pinkston's motion to dismiss does shed a clearer light into the circumstances of that evening.

After his wife called Fletcher, the motion says Bobby Stone also sent him a text message: "I am sure she's telling you how I beat her up. That's not true we did wrestle over the phone but I never hit her."

Fletcher reported the incident to his officers, who went to his home and began to interview Lacie Stone.

Two times, the motion says, Lacie Stone said no assault ever happened. She gave a written statement to that effect and said she was concerned about "her job, the publicity this event may garner and allegations of extramarital affairs."

She "wanted all this to go away," according to Stacy Richardson, the mayor's chief of staff, the motion says.

Richardson also went to the scene and left with Lacie Stone before an investigator from the police department's Special Victims Unit arrived at the house.

Chief Fred Fletcher has denied that there was any contact between police officers and the mayor's office, "other than me."

"As soon as I learned of this incident I contacted on-duty police command and placed them completely in charge. Commanders make difficult decisions every day. I entrusted all decisions to be made independently by investigators with no direction from me. No one from the mayor's office had any contact with any police officers, other than me, and had no influence on the decisions that were made on how to address this case." 

According to District Attorney Neal Pinkston's motion, someone from the mayor's office worked with the police to assign the case to a detective who had been with the SVU for one year.

In the meantime, police officers went to Bobby Stone's house to gather evidence. Before they transported him to the police department, he again denied hitting his wife, according to the motion.

At the station, the Special Victims Unit detective began to interview Bobby Stone — "but failed to notify [him] of his constitutional rights," the motion says.

On Bobby Stone's statement alone, the detective took out warrants for domestic assault and vandalism, even though Lacie Stone's inconsistent statements did not provide enough cause for arrest, the motion says.

After today's brief appearance in Sessions Court, Bobby Stone said Berke had an inappropriate relationship with his wife and conspired with police to have him falsely arrested.

Bobby Stone then thanked his lawyer and Pinkston, then left.

Lacie Stone's lawyer, John Cavett, released a statement on behalf of his client:

"The last six months of my life have been extremely difficult. Anytime you have difficulties in your marriage you want to keep it private. In the unfortunate event that those problems escalate to physical violence, as it did to me on May 20, the last thing you want to do is talk to members of the media about.

My husband continues to make untrue allegations about me, my colleagues, and what happened that night. Those allegations are completely false. I just want to bring this unfortunate event to close, move on with my life, and ask everyone to respect my privacy going forward."

Jerone Halbert, commander for the Chattanooga Police's special victims unit, issued a statement denying that officers had any contact with the mayor's office. 

"I was the commander of this investigation," Halbert said in the statement. "My team and I received no influence from Chief Fred Fletcher or the mayor's office and had no contact at all with the mayor's office. We investigated consistent with my many years of experience working domestic violence cases. My officers handled this incident in good faith performance of their duties to our community."

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