Councilman denies threatening city employee

Documents just released reveal new information about the criminal case against Dallas City Councilmember Scott Griggs.         

The assistant city secretary told police that Griggs used an expletive and threatened to break her fingers.

Last month, a grand jury declined to indict Griggs.

Now, for the first time, Griggs is telling his story.

Griggs says he was blindsided by the allegation of what happened on April 13.

“Did you threaten to break Ms. Johnson's fingers?” FOX 4’s Lori Brown asked.

“No, absolutely not,” said Griggs.

Griggs says he first learned about it when the city sent out a press release.

“Would you ever make a statement like that?” said Brown.

"No,” said Griggs. “No. I have the utmost respect for all of our city employees. They’re such hardworking people. Threatening violence is not acceptable."           

New documents just unsealed by a city council vote show the Dallas City Attorney is the one who reported to police that Griggs verbally threatened assistant city secretary Bilierae Johnson in her office.   

But Johnson initially told police there was no incident between her and Councilmember Griggs.

While no witnesses reported hearing the alleged threat, witnesses did say they heard Griggs yell and use profanity.

So police continued to investigate, later getting a statement from Johnson.

Johnson declined to talk on camera, but told FOX 4 over the phone that she is not sure why no one else nearby heard the threat.

“There were no witnesses to the alleged statement that I made, because I didn't make it,” said Griggs.

“I think you have the city manager and the police department and city attorney running around this building trying to cobble together false allegations against Scott,” said Dallas City Councilmember Philip Kingston.

“And what do you think is the motive for that?” said FOX 4’s Lori Brown.

“Oh, he's a pain in the butt,” said Kingston. “Have you talked with him? He likes transparency and accountability. Those things are horrible for bureaucrats."

While Kingston makes light of it, he admitted that it's intimidating.

“This is a significant crossed line here,” said Kingston. “To attempt to criminalize politics in this way is, it truly raises the stakes."

To Griggs, whose potential felony case was taken all the way to a grand jury, the stakes of public service have never been higher.

FOX 4 asked a city spokesperson about Kingston asking if the case against Griggs was trumped up because Griggs challenges the status quo. We have not yet heard back.

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