Dothan City Commissioner James Reading was arrested Saturday on charges he harassed the man he beat in last year's election. Larry Matthews' allegations stem from an altercation between the two last Tuesday.
Matthews claims he was grabbed by Reading while both attended the "National Night Out Against Crime," an event at the Dothan Civic Center. Matthews said no blows were exchanged.
"I was minding my own business when he (Reading) approached me wanting to fight," said Matthews, who claims he thinks Reading was likely under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Repeated attempts to reach Reading have been unsuccessful. The city lawmaker posted and $300 bond and was released from the Houston County Jail.
The harassment charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Normally, first time offenders are given probation. Or, Reading could be found innocent of the charge.
Matthews and Reading have long been at odds and each has defeated the other for District One commissioner. Matthews unseated Reading in 2005 with the latter winning back his seat last year.