Inside the ABI Investigation

Home vide of Wilson's traffic stop
Home vide of Wilson's traffic stop

Wilson's fate came down to one thing - the facts two ABI agents put into a 75 page report to Mayor Bobby Bright. Neither Wilson nor Bright would release the report to the public despite Wilson's contention it shows he did nothing wrong.

WSFA'S Chris Holmes got a look at that report, and his investigation reveals it's just not that cut and dried.

Wilson has not spoken in public since the traffic stop in question, even to announce why he's retiring. That duty was left to attorney Terry Travis.

"Because I feel the best interests of the citizens of this community would be better served," Travis read from Wilson's retirement statement.

But we have now learned Wilson's own admissions to investigators played a major role in his decision. In a signed statement, Wilson admitted to consuming two drinks and a glass of wine at dinner. From there, a series of problems snowball one after the other. And again, it's a police officer's word that hurts Wilson badly.

Shorter Police Chief Sandor Maloy wrote a letter to Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell on July 16th. He told Powell he smelled alcohol on Wilson's breath, and he also confirmed Officer John Spencer saw Wilson weaving on the road.

Wilson said in his statement "I told Maloy I would do anything Maloy wanted me to do."

But in what appears to be a major error, Chief Maloy told his mayor he deferred the decision to test Wilson for DUI to Officer John Spencer, who is far junior to both men. Maloy claimed Spencer saw no reason for the test - despite this comment caught on audiotape.

Officer John Spencer: "Hell yes he's drunk."

Chief Maloy then told Mayor Powell, 'I'm going to stand behind my officer.'

The entire incident mirrors the last time police stopped Wilson. A junior officer refused to charge Wilson despite the fact he admitted to drinking, opening the door to charges the officer was intimidated by a higher rank.

After Wilson's first drunk driving accusation four years ago, Mayor Bright ordered an officer of equal or higher rank to come to the scene when a policeman was suspected of DUI.

Bright told WSFA he's thinking about another new policy - that when an officer is put in a position similar to wilson's, that officer must take field sobriety, breath or blood tests to prove they aren't impaired.

As for Wilson's original accuser in this case, Rhett Hooper offered WSFA a prepared statement. While he was reporte Chris Holmes asked him about an SUV parked on the interstate across from where Wilson was stopped.

Holmes: Is it connected to you in any way?

Hooper: I have no comment.

Holmes: So you say you want the truth to come out but when we ask you the straight question, it's no comment?

Hooper: I had a friend that I knows stays out late at night, he's another PI, and I  wanted another witness out there, so yes, yes, that vehicle was connected.

That's a serious admission for Hooper because it opens him up to charges this may not have been just a chance run-in with a driver - who turned out to be John Wilson .

Wilson still faces Hooper's misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment.  He is scheduled to face a district court judge August 9th.