Jun 10, 2010 8:40 AM by Elaine Sheridan and John Romero
A dispute over a new medical marijuana ordinance in Fountain has lead to allegations a city council member punched a citizen in the face. Former council member Al Lender says current councilman Harold Thompson assaulted him after Lender confronted him.
The argument started over the new ordinance adopted in Fountain which would prohibit Lender from growing medical marijuana on his property because of zoning laws. “During a break I went up to several of them very angry.” explains Lender, “I pointed at Harold Thompson and said to him you son of a (expletive), you took my property rights. What did he do? He attacked me and hit me in the face.”
Fountain resident John Fay was standing next to Lender at the city council meeting when it all happened. He confirms the story and says he's outraged over the melee. “When we give an elected official the public trust, it should not be violated in a physical manner.” he says. Fountain Mayor Jeri Howells agrees with Lender that he should be able to grow medical marijuana on his property and says no matter what Lender said, Thompson was out of line. “He (Thompson) hit Mr. Lender and I think that is very uncalled for, for a city council person.” she says, “I really do think Councilman Thompson was way out of line.”
No action has been taken yet, but Mayor Howells confirms that several Fountain residents have already called for Thompson's resignation. “Some people have already contacted me and said he should resign. I think he should give that some serious thought because I think it's serious if you attack a citizen.” she says. Lender wants charges brought against Thompson and is also calling for his resignation. “I want Mr. Thompson removed from his office. I want the city to bring charges up against him and remove him immediately.” he says.
No formal charges have been filed against Councilman Thompson as of yet. That decision should come from the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office. We did attempt to speak to Councilman Thompson as he left City Hall Wednesday afternoon. He would not talk.