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Augusta Commissioner Alvin Mason faces battery charge

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Two-term District 4 Au­gusta Commissioner Alvin Mason was arrested Tuesday on a domestic violence charge.

Mason  Special
Special
Mason

Based on a Friday incident report filed by Mason's wife, Richmond County sheriff's deputies swore out a warrant for his arrest for battery, but Mason was allowed to turn himself in Tuesday and post a $1,200 cash bond immediately and spent no time in jail.

The report says Ma­son, 49, “grabbed the victim by the throat and pushed her against the wall” around 10 p.m. Friday, then left the couple’s house on Frank Warren Drive in Hephzibah.

Deputies saw redness and a small cut on Velma Mason's neck, says the report, which names the primary aggressor as Elvin Dwayne Mason, rather than Alvin Duane Mason. The report states there were no children present and there was no evidence of substance abuse.

Mason did not return phone calls requesting comment. He told WRDW-TV the situation was “regrettable” and that his “legal team is handling it.”

Chief State Court Judge Richard Slaby said he set Mason's bond before he turned himself in because Velma Mason signed a statement indicating she wanted to continue to have contact with her husband, and that there were no prior allegations of violent contact.

Typically in domestic violence cases, the accused aggressor is required to make a court appearance before being granted a bond. Often accompanying the bond is a court order prohibiting contact between the suspect and accuser.

The commissioner married Velma Mason in Dec­ember 2009, after his divorce earlier that year from Tonia Mason, who is now the principal of Lucy C. Laney High School.

In a 2010 interview, the former mayor pro tem said he had known Velma Mason since his years in the Army.

Both are retired military, and Alvin Mason works as a federal employee in Fort Gordon's contract office. At the time, Mason said he had four grown children and three grandchildren.

During the same interview, Mason acknowledged serious political ambitions. A run for mayor, possible when Mayor Deke Copenhaver's second full term runs out in 2014, would require Mason's resignation from his full-time job. The Hatch Act precludes his run for a partisan state office such as legislator, another title he's considered, while employed by the federal government.

This year, Mason and Commissioner Bill Lockett have led the charge against the city's adoption of a new personnel manual and City Administrator Fred Russell's reorganization of several city departments. Mason is the commissioner who first called for Russell to resign or be fired when it came to the commission's attention that Russell had awarded raises to 44 employees whose titles changed under the reorganization plan.

Though he's often clashed with several of them, Mason's commissioner colleagues were reluctant to comment on the arrest.

Commissioner Jerry Brig­ham called the arrest "unfortunate."

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles said he wanted to be sure all the facts were known before making a judgment.

"I'm just glad I don't need a legal team," Bowles quipped.

Most recently, Brigham and Commissioner Grady Smith's decision to withdraw their support for a new district map they had supported while serving on the ad hoc redistricting committee angered Mason, who chaired the committee. He called the pair "hypocrites.”

Despite occasional disagreements with Mason, who sits beside him at the dais, Smith said he wants to know the facts first.

"My concern would be hopefully they can work it out and remain a family unit," Smith said.

Commissioner Corey John­­son said he wishes Mason the best.

"It's a personal matter between him and his family, and they'll have to get through it," Johnson said. "It's the same as in life. Marriage is the art of compromise."

Comments (73) Add comment
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Sweet son
10555
Points
Sweet son 12/27/11 - 02:22 pm
0
0
Thanks Susan!! Some will say

Thanks Susan!! Some will say this is not newsworthy but elected officials should and must be held to a higher standard. Maybe he didn't like his gift! Ha!

allhans
23776
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allhans 12/27/11 - 02:24 pm
0
0
Domestic violence, huh. Say

Domestic violence, huh. Say it ain't so.

blues550
380
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blues550 12/27/11 - 02:32 pm
0
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Fred Russell, you're next!!!!
Unpublished

Fred Russell, you're next!!!! Prepare to duck!!!

Just My Opinion
5707
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Just My Opinion 12/27/11 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Sweet son, who in the world

Sweet son, who in the world would say that this story is not newsworthy?? I think it's a very sad thing when a man decides it's okay to strike a woman. I guess all the facts will come out eventually.

scoopdedoop64
2395
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scoopdedoop64 12/27/11 - 02:55 pm
0
0
it doesn't surpise me when

it doesn't surpise me when you see how these people act at a meeting.

my.voice
4867
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my.voice 12/27/11 - 02:58 pm
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Resignation ASAP, please.

Resignation ASAP, please.

rmajor
8
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rmajor 12/27/11 - 03:02 pm
0
0
All I can say is that I'm not

All I can say is that I'm not surprised. With his dealings against other politicians in the past (I think he and another went to blows when he was trying to make sure the other politician couldn't be elected because of where he lived), he seems like a violent, person. There's a difference between political, passion and presenting issues, than losing all sense of yourself in rage and attacking someone physically or even verbally. Not surprised at all. I'm glad the wife "finally" had sense enough to report it. Trust me, I'm sure this isn't the first time. It never is....

TrueVoice
22
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TrueVoice 12/27/11 - 03:02 pm
0
0
Jail Report collector's

Jail Report collector's edition coming up.

Bonk
8
Points
Bonk 12/27/11 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Federal law states that you

Federal law states that you are prohibited from owning a firearm for the rest of your life if you are convicted of such an offense, even if it is a misdemeanor.

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 12/27/11 - 04:04 pm
0
0
I think this happened on

I think this happened on Friday but he was allowed to wait until after Christmas to "turn himself in". Now the big question, how many other citizens were allowed the same courtesy given to this guy, if this is true?

fatboyhog
1987
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fatboyhog 12/27/11 - 03:33 pm
0
0
How was he able to post a

How was he able to post a bond? Was this bond set by the judge? Did he go before the judge? Or is this the "normal" bond amount for a non-Family Violence Simple Battery charge? How are you arrested for Family Violence Simple Battery at 12:30 and already bonded out? A lesser mortal would still be in a cell, awaiting the judge.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/27/11 - 03:40 pm
0
0
yeah, resignation. So

yeah, resignation. So pointless too. How difficult is it to keep yourself in check. I'm frustrated daily with dead end job, late fees for bills, processing charges, taxation, wifey cooking them slimy sloppy eggs, the list just goes on and on. I don't have a single urge, nor have I ever, to strike my spouse/family. If you can't get along together, then just get along down the line son. SHEESH!!!

entitlements-r-us
4
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entitlements-r-us 12/27/11 - 03:41 pm
0
0
Well...well...well... it

Well...well...well... it looks like he found someone who wouldn't take his bullying anymore. The silver lining to the cloud is that now he has a photo for his mayoral campaign posters.

augusta817
75
Points
augusta817 12/27/11 - 03:44 pm
0
0
The right thing for Mr. Mason

The right thing for Mr. Mason to do is to resign. Quickly. Just get out and work on your "marriage."

bdouglas
5138
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bdouglas 12/27/11 - 03:46 pm
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Bet that made for some

Bet that made for some awkward family Christmas photos...

CABoatright
188
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CABoatright 12/27/11 - 04:05 pm
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OMG!! Entitlements-R-Us!
Unpublished

OMG!! Entitlements-R-Us! How right you are--he need not pay for a photo for his election campaign now!!! LOL!!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/27/11 - 04:09 pm
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redness? cut? The only

redness? cut? The only difference in simple assault and aggravated homicide is clamping down a little harder with the fingers. I hope some kind of restaint can be imposed on the good commish. For the safety of the victim even.

TrueVoice
22
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TrueVoice 12/27/11 - 04:17 pm
0
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Hopefully she is O.K.

Hopefully she is O.K.

oneofthefrontrowgang
0
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oneofthefrontrowgang 12/27/11 - 04:31 pm
0
0
DOES THAT MEAN HE WON'T BE

DOES THAT MEAN HE WON'T BE RUNNING FOR MAYOR? HE SHOULD RESIGN FRON THE COMMISSION NOW.

countyman
20243
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countyman 12/27/11 - 04:51 pm
0
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Mr. Mason lives in South

Mr. Mason lives in South Augusta and not the city limits of Hephzibah... I believe he lives in the Diamond Lakes area of South Augusta.. Tobacco rd between Fort Gordon/Gracewood and Windsor Spring rd between Woodlake and Willis Foreman rd is apart of the 30815 zipcode(Hephzibah), but not within the city limits.. The 30815 zipcode is around 30k and the city limits of Hephzibah is 62% white, rural, and around 5k people..

dichotomy
33550
Points
dichotomy 12/27/11 - 04:53 pm
0
0
Anyone who has watched this

Anyone who has watched this guy in action knows that he is an angry man with a chip on his shoulder. A physical assault on someone was bound to happen. He is definitely not mayor material and he should not be commissioner material. Why was he not jailed and hauled before a judge before he was granted bail like any other citizen? Was he booked and a mug shot taken like the rest of us would have been? Somebody interview the Sheriff and let him explain the preferential treatment.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 12/27/11 - 05:34 pm
0
0
Well, he has not been very

Well, he has not been very effective as a commissioner, but he might do fine as mayor, since all that's required is banging gavels and cutting ribbons. One postive: he is opposed to the taxpayer-funded baseball stadium.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 12/27/11 - 05:41 pm
0
0
Maybe David Fry will serve as

Maybe David Fry will serve as his attorney in return for a character reference at Fry's trial! ?

RunningMan
346
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RunningMan 12/27/11 - 06:14 pm
0
0
Countryman, who cares about

Countryman, who cares about the physical location of their home. The zip code says Hephizabh, and the article in correct for listing it as such. Hephzibah, South Augusta, does in really matters in this case?

Austin Rhodes
2866
Points
Austin Rhodes 12/27/11 - 06:28 pm
0
0
Be very, very careful...and

Be very, very careful...and you folks...please use your noggin'. Some of you people are hideously quick to call for punishment...

The man has been a public figure for years...if he were prone to this stuff, would not there have been signs?

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 12/27/11 - 06:42 pm
0
0
Mason told News 12's Chris

Mason told News 12's Chris Thomas: "It is a regrettable situation and my legal team is handling it."

They say EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership; it is no wonder that Augusta/Richmond County is dysfunctional with leadership like this. If, this were an isolated incident that arose out of "losing your cool", Mr. Mason would not need a legal team to get him out of it. This speaks volumes as to his credentials and abilities of running local government. Yet, this will all be forgotten by next election time...........always is with liberals.

1SCDawgfan
0
Points
1SCDawgfan 12/27/11 - 06:54 pm
0
0
Hey Austin, you might want to

Hey Austin, you might want to talk with the ex wives before being so quick to defend him and chastise voters who are calling for him to step down. Abuse is OFTEN overlooked, excused or denied.
Please take the high road and educate yourself and your listeners/readers by going to www.domesticviolence.org

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 12/27/11 - 06:59 pm
0
0
was his take part of the
Unpublished

was his take part of the statement or just the wife's? if he left the house, could it have been only her side? if so, i'd like to hear his. he may be known for being "fiery," but i've never seen him as out of control or violent at commission meetings.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 12/27/11 - 07:11 pm
0
0
Who wants to bet that the
Unpublished

Who wants to bet that the wife will forgive him and drop the charges because she loves him and he only hit her a few times? Sad because this is a very christian family, or so they claim. But to me this is just a good example of our judicial system in action. Don't forget, we are a country of laws. Its just that some can get better justice than others.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 12/27/11 - 07:15 pm
0
0
A similar charge was made

A similar charge was made against someone in the media by his then wife. The charges were dropped against him. Let's not jump to conclusions.

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