Linda Gail Dennison, Kay Godwin investigated by BPD, Attorney Gen.

District Six Blackshear City Council member Linda Gail Dennison and local Republican Party leader Kay Godwin may face misdemeanor charges after reportedly attempting to interfere with an ongoing citizen effort to obtain signatures for a recall election petition for District Five City Council member Shawn Godwin.

Kay Godwin is council member Godwin’s grandmother.
A special prosecutor with the Attorney General’s office has been assigned to review the matter now after Misdemeanor Prosecutor and City Attorney Adam Ferrell recused himself and sent a conflict recusal letter to the AG’s office.
Sharon Komanecky, petitioner, filed an incident report for stalking against the two women with the Blackshear Police Department Wednesday, September 9. The Times obtained a copy of the report and investigative file by way of an open records request.
Police Chief Chris Wright confirmed Friday, September 11,  the BPD was investigating the matter. 
“The accusation is they (Dennison and Kay Godwin) were riding around, following (the petitioners) wherever they went, taking pictures,” Wright says.
According to the report, Komanecky was in the process of obtaining signatures for the recall election petition in the Bowen Subdivision when she observed Dennison and Kay Godwin following her. Kay Godwin was reportedly taking photos of Komanecky. According to the incident report, the women also drove past Komanecky’s house and took more photos of her.
When asked about the matter by The Times, Komanecky confirmed she filed an incident report, but declined further comment, citing the ongoing investigation. 
“I have experienced some complications that have made me slightly uncomfortable, but nothing that is going to deter me from finishing the (petition) process,” Komanecky said last Thursday. She submitted the recall petition to the Board of Elections Friday, September 11. (See related story).
Aside from filing a report, Komanecky has the right to personally apply for criminal charges against Dennison and Kay Godwin at the magistrate court, but told The Times she is undecided on that matter.
Wright initially contacted District Attorney George Barnhill regarding the incident and also requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) handle the investigation, but GBI declined to take the case.
“After discussing the matter with the District Attorney, I requested the GBI conduct the follow-up interviews and any investigation that may be necessary but they declined to accept the case. The SAC (special agent in charge) seems to believe there has been no overt act and all of this occurred on public roadways,” Wright told The Times.
Georgia law defines stalking as occurring when “a person … follows, places under surveillance or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.”
And, state law makes no distinction regarding public roadway. It reads: “the term “place or places” shall include any public or private property occupied by the victim other than the residence of the defendant.”
Attempts to contact Dennison for comment regarding the complaint against her were unsuccessful.
Godwin told The Times she was unaware of the complaint. When informed of the incident report, Godwin replied, “You don’t worry about that. Bye-bye.”
Komanecky’s stalking claim is not the first report of Dennison interfering with the petition effort. She reportedly called Carol Dean, a Church Street resident and reportedly a longtime friend, after learning she and her husband, Johnny Dean, had signed the initial recall application in August.
“She told my wife she would see us in court … I never talked to Ms. Dennison. I was hearing it on speaker phone,” Johnny Dean told The Times last week. “I never heard of anybody going to court for signing a petition.”
The Dean couple signed the petition anyway.
Council member Keith Brooks confronted Dennison about that matter at a council meeting last week. 
“I just wanted to let the citizens know the council is not involved in any legal action with this recall and we’re certainly not going to be involved with anything that is against the law,” Brooks said.
“I don’t recall that. I don’t understand why we’re having a recall really, but it is what it is and that’s all I’m going to say. I don’t recall that incident,” Dennison replied.
Mayor Kevin Grissom interjected to clarify the council was not recalling Shawn Godwin.
“The council is not recalling (Godwin). The citizens have the right to and that’s entirely up to them. It’s in their hands,” Grissom said.
When The Times attempted to contact Dennison for further comment regarding the Deans’ accusation, she told a Times’ reporter “I’m busy” before hanging up.
According to a transcript of Dennison’s interview with a BPD investigator last week, she admitted to both following Komanecky around the neighborhood and her conversation with Carol Dean.
Dennison says she was on her way to a friend’s house when she and Kay Godwin observed District One Councilman Keith Brooks driving Komanecky around on his golf cart to procure petition signatures. 
The councilwoman told BPD Major Robbie Boatright she has been threatened previously and told “you’re next” so she “wanted to see what she was up against.”
“If Keith Brooks is coming after me, what am I going to be up against? ... If you were told that you were going to be next and you saw somebody from another district helping them get the names that you know hates Shawn, I was curious.”
“That was the first and only time I had taken her (Komanecky) around anywhere, and the only reason I did that was because the girl she was riding with had to go ... I never got off the golf cart, went up to anybody’s house, or solicited a signature,” Brooks told The Times when asked about the matter.
Regarding her phone call to Carol Dean, Dennison reportedly told Boatright:  “I don’t even have the freedom to make a phone call. When I called Carol, we have been friends for so many years I thought nothing about it.”
“I didn’t mean any harm,” she added.
Blackshear resident Wes Kutch filed an ethics complaint   Friday, Sept. 11, against Dennison regarding her conversation with Carol Dean. (See related story.)
The Times also received word an ethics complaint would be filed against Councilman Brooks for driving Komanecky around District Five while she worked to procure signatures for the recall petition against Councilman Godwin, but according to City Clerk Jenny Grant, an official complaint was not filed by The Times’ deadline.