PORT ALLEN — A West Baton Rouge Parish councilwoman was arrested Wednesday on a count of public intimidation and retaliation over accusations she used social media to threaten her grandchild’s bus driver.
Councilwoman Charlene Gordon on Thursday downplayed the incident with the bus driver, which was described in an affidavit of probable cause for Gordon’s arrest filed with the Port Allen Police Department.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she said.
Gordon claimed she wasn’t arrested and showed up at the police station only at the urging of Police Chief Esdron Brown after the bus driver filed a report against her.
“I’m not a violent person,” said Gordon, who represents Distinct 5 on the Parish Council. “But anyone that knows me knows I will stick up for my children and grandchildren.”
Gordon was released from the parish jail on Wednesday after posting $5,000 bail.
The bus driver, identified as Barbara Henderson, says she’s written several reprimands over a four-month period against Gordon’s grandson, who is an elementary school student, because of his behavior, the police report states.
The bus driver told police her issues with the councilwoman began the morning of April 5 during her routine pickup of Gordon’s grandson.
Henderson described the scene to authorities, saying Gordon’s grandson was “playing around” as he was approaching her bus. At one point, she said, the boy hid from her view, so she closed the bus doors, prompting him to come out of hiding.
After opening the bus doors so the boy could get on the bus, Henderson told police, Gordon yelled at her from the doorway to her home, saying, “You can leave him if you want to, but you will have to turn back around and get him.”
Later that morning, Henderson says, she was alerted to a Facebook post Gordon made about her.
“I was feeling good this morning, (thanking) God for allowing me to open my eyes,” the post reads. “Here comes this stupid unprofessional driver, you closed the door on my baby and hollering at him about what you are not going to do if you would have pulled off and dragged my baby … this would have been your last day.”
In the post, Gordon allegedly posted Henderson’s bus number (240) and the hashtag #imtiredofher.
After Gordon’s grandson received another written reprimand for bad behavior, Henderson said, the councilwoman posted a photo of her grandson on Facebook with the caption “All I can say is … THIS MEANS WAR!! #240.”
The bus driver claims Gordon, who also serves as the crossing guard for Cohn Elementary School, refused to stop traffic flow for her one day after more behavioral reprimands for Gordon’s grandson.
“Henderson stated her main concern is Gordon attempting to publicly shame her, retaliate against her for reprimanding (Gordon’s grandson) due to his consistent behavioral issues,” the police report states.
Gordon told The Advocate Thursday she filed numerous reports of the bus driver’s unprofessional behavior to Henderson’s supervisor, as well.
The councilwoman also claimed she tried reaching out to Brown shortly after her incidents with Henderson, but the police chief didn’t contact her until the bus driver filed the report.
“I don’t know how it’s going to all play out, but all I can do is tell the truth,” Gordon said. “I know what happened.”
Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.