It started out innocently enough. Star Valley Town Manager Tim Grier attended a cracker-barrel discussion put on by the former mayor to hear citizens’ concerns.
The scene quickly turns hostile when the former town clerk’s husband arrives and reportedly accosts Grier for putting his wife on suspension several months prior.
Feeling threatened, Grier leaves the restaurant after the meeting only to find the man is following him and yelling obscenities, according to a police incident report.
Raymond “Tony” Luckie, 67, is eventually cited and released for disorderly conduct and threatening or intimidating behavior Sept. 25, said Gila County Sheriff’s Undersheriff Adam Shepherd.
Earlier this month, Luckie pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Gila County justice courtroom.
According to a statement Grier e-mailed to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, the problem started shortly after Grier arrived at the Sept. 25 meeting at the Diamond Point Shadows restaurant, put on by former mayor Chuck Heron.
“He immediately came to where I was sitting, came to inches in front of me, put his finger in my face and said, “You have some (expletive) nerve coming to this meeting (expletive),” Grier said in the statement.
“He was yelling, very angry, very intimidating and I thought he was going to assault me. I was pinned in the booth and couldn’t get away from him.”
Charles Conover, 70, who was also at the meeting asked Luckie if he was kidding.
Heron, 73, told Luckie to sit down because Grier was welcome to attend the meeting along with everyone else.
Luckie sat down and the meeting began, but according to Grier, Luckie continued to glare at him throughout the 20-minute meeting.
In a statement to Gila County Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Smith, Luckie admitted to talking to Grier at the start of the meeting.
After the cracker barrel was over, Grier started to leave the restaurant when Luckie approached him again and said they “were going to talk about this.”
Grier explained in a statement e-mailed to Smith that Luckie’s wife Sarah was put on probation for poor work performance three months prior.
“She was unhappy that she was put on probation and quit her position immediately as town clerk,” Grier said.
A day before the cracker barrel, Mrs. Luckie’s attorney reportedly called Grier to offer a settlement for their threatened litigation against the town.
Grier told the attorney the town was not interested in discussing a settlement “to their merit less claim.”
“I am certain the attorney communicated this to his client (Sarah) Luckie and prompted Tony Luckie’s actions,” Grier said.
Additionally, Grier says that a recent decision by an appeals judge to overturn a Department of Economic Security decision to award unemployment to Sarah may have also prompted Mr. Luckie’s actions.
Luckie told Smith that Grier “bullied (Sarah) out of her job.”
After Grier left the restaurant, he said he did not realize Luckie was still behind him until “he was again suddenly right there within feet, inches of me, yelling,” according to the incident report.
“I was very scared at this point that he would assault me and there was no one else in the parking lot,” Grier said.
Grier continued to his car but feared if he turned around to enter the car, Luckie would assault him, so he decided to head back to the restaurant.
“I didn’t think I was going to be able to get away without him assaulting me,” Grier said.
Luckie told Smith he did approach Grier outside the restaurant to talk but Grier went “hysterical” and pulled out his phone and said he would call 911.
At the same time Grier returned to the restaurant, Conover was exiting. Grier asked Conover to walk him to his car.
Grier reached his car, locked his doors and waited for Luckie to leave the parking lot. Grier then drove to the sheriff’s office to report the incident, according to the incident report.
In his statement, Grier said he thought Luckie should receive jail time because Grier was a government employee performing his duties at the time of the alleged assault.
“If we allow thugs like (Tony) Luckie to threaten and intimidate government officials, then we really do not have an effective government,” he said.
However, Grier goes on to say he does not care what happens with the case.
“This should be an easy case to prosecute,” Grier said. “Prosecute as you choose, I will not oppose a deferred sentence with community service.”
A pre-trial conference is set for Nov. 17 with Judge Dorothy Little.