Man charged with assaulting mayor amid affair allegations

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (AP) — A man accused of attacking an Alabama mayor outside a barber shop has been charged with assault, police said Monday.

Benny Green of Irondale will be held on $150,000 bond in the Jefferson County jail, Vestavia Hills police said in a statement.

Talladega Mayor Larry Barton told authorities that Green assaulted him on Saturday morning while he was getting out of his car outside of a barbershop where he works part time in Vestavia Hills, a suburb of Birmingham located about 55 miles west of Talladega.

Barton, 75, said the suspect used a baseball bat or a similar object to repeatedly strike him in his head, according to the police statement. Green tried fleeing the scene on a bicycle but was stopped by bystanders, the statement said.

Barton was taken to the University of Alabama Birmingham hospital. A receptionist said he was still there Monday, but that details on his condition were being released only to his family.

Green’s former attorney, Stewart Springer, said Barton was secretly recorded on video having sex with Green’s wife. Divorce court documents indicate that Green’s wife was recorded with a man other than her husband, but didn’t identify the man. The documents said she and the man were recorded numerous times in the back office of a liquor store the Greens own.

Barton, who was subpoenaed to give a deposition in the divorce case, was quoted by Al.com as denying any involvement with Green’s wife. He did not return telephone calls and emails from The Associated Press on Monday.

“They have known each other for quite some time and have a history,” Vestavia Hills police Lt. Brian Gilham wrote in an email in response to questions about the mayor and Benny Green. The two had worked together on a radio show titled “In the Interest of the People,” according to Al.com.

The mayor served about three years in prison in the ’90s after being convicted of stealing money from the city of Talladega. Barton lost runoffs for mayor in 1999 and 2003 before being elected again in 2011.

He is again on the ballot for elections to be held later this month, Talladega City Clerk Beth Cheeks said in an email.

Green’s current divorce lawyer Tommy Davis declined comment. Springer, meanwhile, said he plans to launch a GoFundMe fundraiser to help pay Green’s defense costs.

“If Benny did this, he would have had reason to do it,” Springer said. “And if he did it, I want him to be defended and I don’t want him to get in any trouble.”

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