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Clayton school board member arrested

By Linda Looney-Bond and

Curt Yeomans

lbond@news-daily.com

Clayton County Board of Education Member Trinia Garrett was arrested April 21 and charged with simple battery, according to Clayton County Magistrate Court documents.

According to court records, on April 19, Garrett allegedly provoked an altercation with Albert Stocken, a man with whom she has lived for the past 18 months. Garrett, 36, of Lake City, was arrested two days later. Records show she was granted $2,000 bond on April 22 and later released.

"Garrett allegedly started an altercation with Stocken by arguing with him about a credit card charge of approximately $85 for a motel room, and allegedly grabbed a chain and pulled it from the neck of Stocken," according to an affidavit for Garrett's arrest filed by Lake City Police Officer Carol Parker.

Court records do not show why Garrett and Stocken were arguing over the motel room charge.

Garrett did not attend a school board budget work session Thursday. She could not be reached by telephone for comment.

Garrett is the District 7 representative on the school board, and also the co-founder of Putting the Past Behind Us Wish Foundation, an organization she started with her daughter to offer assistance to children who are victims of sexual abuse.

As a school board member, she represents parents of students at 15 Clayton County schools, according to the school system's web site. The schools represented by Garrett include Riverdale, Mt. Zion and Forest Park high schools; Babb, Jonesboro, Riverdale and Sequoyah middle schools, and Fountain, Harper, Haynie, Kilpatrick, Lake City, Morrow, Riverdale and Tara elementary schools.

Garrett was elected to the school board on July 15, 2008 - for a full, four-year term that began in January - as part of a massive turnover on the board. She replaced former District 7 Board Member David Ashe. Two weeks before her election, Ashe resigned from office.

As a result, the school board appointed Garrett to fill Ashe's unexpired term - upon her predecessor's recommendation - nearly six months early.

"I looked at the TV, watching the results, and just started crying - I couldn't believe it," Garrett said about her election in the July 18, 2008, edition of the Clayton News Daily.