Walker Co. business owner claims deputy is driving off business
WALKER COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) - The owner of a Walker County billiards club claims a deputy is scaring off business. Ronald Cline says he has proof he is being watched and he just wants to know why.
The Rossville business owner contacted Channel 3, saying his complaints to the sheriff's department have fallen on deaf ears.
Cline says the deputy's actions have gone beyond just watching his business, but have also involved threats. He says the deputy has accused him of running an illegal gambling business. He says all he is trying to do is make a living.
"It made me feel like I was paying $1400 a month for them to park and watch me," says Ronald Cline.
Ronald Cline owns Easy 8's Billiards Club off Lafayette Road in Rossville. After he opened up three months ago, he started seeing Walker sheriff's deputies watching his place.
"I started noticing the sheriff's department sitting around my business, in my parking lot, several times a day, just about every day of the week."
He says it went on for about three weeks straight and he started taking pictures, showing patrol cars outside of his business at all hours of the day.
A nearby business owner, who did not want to be on camera, tells us the same.
Cline gave Channel 3 a look inside the pool hall. Above his gaming machines there is a sign that says "no pay outs. Don't even ask."
"I think it's personal," he says.
Cline had enough and confronted the deputy, Corey Griffin, after a customer said Griffin pulled her over and claimed illegal gambling was happening there.
"I approached him and asked him why he was pulling people over, telling them that I had been busted. He told me that I might not have been, but I would be sooner or later," says Cline.
Cline and Griffin had run-ins before and he thinks it is revenge.
"I've personally not done anything to him besides file these complaints against him for harassment before."
Cline says he has met face to face with Sheriff Steve Wilson and was told the matter would be looked into.
Channel 3 stopped by the sheriff's department, but the sheriff was out of the office.
In the meantime, Cline says he is missing out on business.
"Who wants to come and hang out where you feel like you're being watched, like you're in jail?"
He says he is not going down without a fight.
"I'm not going to go down. Rent's paid and business is open," says Cline.
Channel 3 reached out to Sheriff Wilson by phone, as well. We also requested the personnel file of Deputy Griffin to see if other complaints have been filed against him.
Cline says this last month alone he has made about $4,000 less than he usually does.