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Bonifay city councilman charged with battery

BONIFAY – A Bonifay city councilman is charged with one misdemeanor count of battery following a complaint filed by a Bonifay resident.

A complaint filed with the Bonifay Police Department states that City Councilman Robert Urquhart approached the resident just prior to a called meeting of the Bonifay City Council on September 21.

The complainant stated Urquhart, who serves in Seat 2, was angry with him because he had called Urquhart about a City of Bonifay issue.

“[Urquhart] entered the council chambers, approached my person, and intentionally touched me against my will by poking his finger in my abdomen,” wrote the complainant. “As he did so, he stated, ‘Don’t you ever call my house like that again.’”

According to Bonifay Police Department, the incident was recorded by surveillance cameras inside council chambers; however, a request made Friday by the Holmes County Times-Advertiser for that video has not yet been processed. The Times-Advertiser also reached out to Urquhart on Friday, but so far, that call has not been returned.

Urquhart is scheduled to be arraigned on November 4 on one count of misdemeanor battery, according to a notice to appear filed on Thursday, October 21.

Florida Statute requires the Office of the Governor to be notified of the charges, at which time the Governor would have the authority to remove Urquhart from office. Should Urquhart be removed, an acquittal would be grounds for reinstatement.

Under the City of Bonifay Charter, the City has the authority to call a public hearing to determine whether to remove Urquhart from the Council; however, City Attorney Michelle Jordan states she does not believe the City will call a hearing, which would require advertisement two weeks prior to the hearing date.

The City of Bonifay will meet again in regular session Monday, October 25. It was not known Friday afternoon whether Urquhart’s position would be placed on the agenda for that meeting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For clarification purposes, please note this is a separate incident from the September 13 altercation involving Bonifay Fire Chief Larry Cook and resident Wayne Powell.

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