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June 12, 2010 / V A Nichols

JeffCo Brd of Ed Candidate Charged w/Felony Animal Cruelty in 2000

Jefferson County school board hopeful explains criminal record
Published: Saturday, June 12, 2010, 6:30 AM Birmingham News

A candidate for the Jefferson County Board of Education has a record that includes convictions for harassment, following a domestic violence charge, and animal cruelty, after he fed a neighbor’s dogs meat drenched in antifreeze.

“Both of these were reduced to misdemeanors,” said Mike Grissom, who won a spot in the July 13 Republican runoff election against incumbent Jennifer Parsons for Place 1 on the Board of Education. “I’m not a rapist or a murderer. I’ve never robbed a bank. I’m a pretty good person who made two mistakes. And for the couple mistakes I’ve made, I have paid dearly.”

Grissom was arrested on a domestic violence charge in January 2003 for slamming his ex-wife’s arm in a doorway at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, according to the police report.

According to the report, the two got into a heated argument outside the church during halftime of their son’s basketball game. When she tried to go back into the church, the report states, Grissom “slammed her arm in the door and would not release her until an employee of the church heard her calling for help.”

For that incident, Grissom was charged with third-degree domestic violence, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of harassment. He was fined and received two years’ probation. He also attended anger management classes.

“This domestic violence charge was all about nothing,” Grissom said. “I never hit her, but her hand did get caught between two doors. … The next time a woman calls the police on me, I’m gonna claw my face, beat myself up and pull what little hair I have left out of my head, and when the popo gets there, I’m gonna say, ‘Please help me.'”

Grissom’s animal cruelty incident happened three years earlier, in September 2000.

In that case, Grissom said he fed his neighbor’s dogs deer meat drenched in antifreeze, resulting in two of the dogs dying and a third having to undergo expensive veterinary treatments.

He was charged with felony animal cruelty in that case, but the charge was reduced to misdemeanor animal cruelty after Grissom completed anger management classes and paid a fine. In that case, he again was placed on probation for two years.

“I’m not an animal hater,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I have a cat.”

Grissom said the neighbors took in several stray dogs that roamed the streets and defecated in neighborhood yards.

“I had a problem with the Jefferson County Animal Control failing to help me,” he said. Having grown up on a dairy farm, Grissom said, he was used to having to take care of things himself.

“I was stepping in dog mess all the time, and all the neighbors around here were complaining, but nobody would do anything,” he said. “One night I just snapped.”

For two nights in row, Grissom said, he left a bowl full of deer meat and antifreeze outside.

“It came to a head very quickly,” Grissom said. “I’m not proud of what I’ve done, but I’m honest about it.”



Leave a Comment
  1. Millie Harris / Jul 13 2010 10:27 PM

    I would like to know the outcome of this election. Please advise. Thanks!

  2. Lala / Jul 7 2010 6:51 PM

    This person has a criminal background and he thinks he should help run an education board? Why does he think he deserves this honor? This story needs to be publicized more than it is.

  3. Debbie Smith / Jun 13 2010 10:55 PM

    He said he was not a rapist or murderer, well unfortunately two dogs died as a result of his actions so YES he is a murderer. And I believe anyone expecting to hold a government position should have more respect for the police and not refer to them as the “popo”. Trust me, there is enough problems within the public school system to have such a disgraceful person (unable to refer to him as a man) holding that position. It just goes to show that people that abuse animals are more likely to abuse humans. Do you really want someone like this around children?

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