Etheridge's Office Disputes Claim
Former Resident Recalls Run-In With Etheridge
The story about Etheridge published on Friday, June 18. Click here to read the story.
A spokesman for Congressman Bob Etheridge is disputing claims made by former Moore County resident Brandon Leslie about an incident 14 years ago.
The two had an encounter during a football game at Pinecrest High School in the fall of 1996.
Leslie was a senior. Etheridge, then state superintendent of public instruction, was running against Republican Congressman David Funderburk. Moore County was part of the 2nd District, which Democrat Etheridge now represents.
Leslie, who is now an attorney in Oxford, Miss., claims that as he was pressing Etheridge to answer a question, the candidate grabbed him by the shoulders, and shook him and told him, “Son, you need to learn to respect your elders.”
Patrick Devlin, in Etheridge’s Washington office, asserted Friday that Leslie’s account was “in error,” but declined to make Etheridge available for an interview.
Dr. Ben Greene, who was principal of Pinecrest at the time, told The Pilot today that his recollection of the incident was a little different from Leslie’s.
“There were people gathered around (Etheridge),” Greene said. “I happened to walk by, and it caught my attention because I heard a student talking loudly. They were talking with Mr. Etheridge. I walked over and saw Mr. Etheridge have a hand out on the upper part of the student’s arm.
“The student was extremely close to him, I mean like six inches or so from him, and Mr. Etheridge had his hand on the student’s upper arm. I asked what was going on, and Mr. Etheridge said everything was OK, and they parted ways. I didn’t see any shaking or grabbing.”
Leslie e-mailed The Pilot June 14 about his encounter with Etheridge after a video surfaced on the Internet showing a confrontation between Etheridge and a young man claiming to be college student. The video shows an agitated Etheridge grabbing and holding the unidentified man by the wrist, neck and shoulders after he approached Etheridge with a video camera and asked him if he “fully supported” President Obama’s agenda
Contact David Sinclair by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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