COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said the social media allegations against him have gone too far in a statement Monday night during the Covington City Council’s regular meeting.
Johnston said he is bothered by the hate he feels from residents of the community. He said the hate has moved from just him to his family and his children.
“This has got to stop, it’s got to stop,” he said.
Johnston has reportedly been told that he is going to be embarrassed and he should move his family out of the city because of information social media users have about him.
“I’m not trying to be too strong, I’m trying to tell you I’m a little ticked off,” he said. “This has gone too far.”
Johnston said community members on social media have talked about a “big bomb” that is getting ready to come out against him. Johnston wanted to clear the air and tell city residents about the bomb himself.
“Back, 16 years ago tomorrow – exactly 16 years ago tomorrow (Tuesday) – I lived in Johns Creek, I was 37 years old,” he said. “We had four kids – I think our last one was born at that time – and I drove every day into Norcross.
“And that day I drove into Norcross something happened that forever changed my life.”
Johnston said he was driving down a road that had a turn lane in the middle. In the turn lane was a school bus.
“I had a little rag top Jeep because at the time that’s all I could afford because I had four kids at home,” he said. “But as I was driving down that road I passed the school bus and as I passed that school bus I heard a big thump on the side of my car – the driver’s door.”
Johnston said he initially had no idea what happened because he was looking straight ahead so he slammed on his brakes and got out of his car.
“A gentleman with a bike had gone into the side of my car,” he said.
“He died,” he said.
Johnston said that incident is the big bomb social media users are threatening to use against him.
“I don’t even like to talk about it that much, I have kind of a hard time with it,” he said. “But, technically speaking there was an investigation, there was a death. I was never given a ticket.”
Johnston said he was not drinking during the incident, as it happened around 8 a.m. in the morning.
According to Johnston, he is working with Covington Police Department (CPD) Chief Stacey Cotton to acquire the incident report and investigation documentation from the incident. Once those documents are acquired, Johnston said he will provide them to the public. Cotton confirmed with The Covington News that he is trying to use his contacts to find the reports for Johnston.
“The bottom line is, that’s what happened and I thought it was important to come out and just tell y’all. That’s the big bomb,” he said.
Johnston said he loves being the mayor of the City of Covington and plans to continue to serve in that position.
“You’re not going to get rid of me that easy because I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “This ain’t nothing. This is a very sad and painful thing for me to talk about.”
Make sure to check back for more information on this developing story.