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Councilman faces additional charges of bribery, extortion

LIPSCOMB (AP) — Bribery and extortion are the latest felony charges against Lipscomb City Council member Gaston Randle, who already faces charges of impersonating a police officer and stalking.

Jefferson County sheriff’s officials said Friday the latest charges came during a probe into a resident’s complaints of harassment in the west Jefferson County town where Randle also serves as police commissioner.

Randle could not be reached for comment.

He was charged earlier this week with stalking the manager at a trailer park, who said she would no longer allow police to set up roadblocks on private property.

According to police, Randle was routinely seen around Lipscomb carrying a gun and a badge and often told residents he was a police officer.

Randle was also regularly seen driving a marked police car, and was sometimes seen in uniform.

The bribery charge stemmed from a roadblock where a Hispanic man who didn’t have a driver license was told to pay $180 to a tow truck driver, accompanied by Randle, or his vehicle would be pulled.

The man paid and was allowed to leave, according to investigators.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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