An exchange of words and some shoving back in October 2009 resulted in a Galena alderman entering an Alford Plea this week in the Stone County courthouse, just across the street from where city council has held high-temperature sessions since last summer.

Tom Crabtree, mayor pro-tem entered the plea on Tuesday (Feb. 16th) . The charged stemmed from an incident in which Crabtree shoved former Police Chief Tony Kinser during an aldermen meeting. Crabtree was charged November 5th.

In a letter to the city, dated in early December 2009, Kinser wrote: "It has been a great privilege and honor to serve and protect the citizens of Galena, Missouri. However, due to the continuously hostile working conditions and continuing unethical behavior of several Galena city officials, I find it necessary to resign my position as Police Officer for Galena, Missouri,. My resignation is effective immediately." Kinser's resignation followed on the heels of the appointment of Joe Templeton as mayor by Crabtree.

Crabtree entered an Alford Plea to 3rd-degree assault, a Class-A misdemeanor - meaning he knew there was enough evidence against him should the matter gone to trial. He was originally charged with a Class-C misdemeanor. The judge sentenced him one year unsupervised probation which started on Feb. 16th.

Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby tells the Ozark Sentinel "he (Crabtree) was put on probation for a year with the conditions that he have no contact with the victim and that he not violate the law. The victim is now working for a different police department outside the county."

***By: Greg Brock

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