If ever you find yourself in Manchester, Ky., best you don’t mess with Esther Thompson.
The city councilwoman was set to face a judge Monday for criminal assault of a man she evicted from her townhome because he and his boyfriend are gay.
Joshua Melton and James Feltner told WYMT-TV they had been renting a townhouse owned by Thompson for nine months until one day in June, when they say she called him and his boyfriend “faggot,” and slapped him in the face. She told them they had one day to clear out, Melton told the TV station.
Asked why they were being evicted without sufficient notice, Melton quoted Thompson as saying “she should have never rented to the faggots.” He then alleges that she struck him across the face.
Melton filed a police report after being checked out at a local hospital, and Thompson reportedly said after being notified of the complaint that she “owned the police,” reported Logo’s NewNowNext.
At presstime, LGBTQ Nation was not able to confirm whether Thompson appeared before a judge as was scheduled Monday, and no one at the city council could locate Thompson. Fred Rogers, a colleague on the council and local businessman, told LGBTQ Nation he had not heard of the complaint or the charges, but said Thompson “is a very nice person.”
Although no eviction notice is on record, WYMT reports it did find Thompson is suing the couple in small claims court for $2,500.
In the complaint filed last month, Thompson accused her former tenants of violating their lease. One stipulation was that they housed six dogs and damaged the carpet. It was, in Thompson’s words, “by far one of the worst I have seen,” according to the complaint.
“Yeah she’s lying,” Melton told WYMT. “There were three dogs … chihuahuas that we’ve had forever and she knew that we had them. The carpet was not destroyed.”
Thompson reportedly listed a phony corporation on the couple’s lease and did not properly manage their security deposit.
And there may be more to that reputed claim that she “owned the police.” Manchester police reportedly played a role in the couple’s eviction, which the local website Peacock Panache reported was “illegal.”
The website accuses officers of assisting “Thompson in evicting the couple from their residence without due process.”
Jordan Palmer of the Kentucky Equality Federation, which is reportedly assisting the men in their legal fight, told Peacock Panache: “Discrimination, we won’t tolerate it in any form in any part of the Commonwealth.”
“It’s just unfortunate that it’s happened here in Clay County … again … but, we will see the case through to the end until justice is served.”
According to the website, the group is also seeking “the termination or severe remedial action of the accused Manchester Police Officers involved, the resignation or removal of the accused City Council Member from office and an investigation into the ethical practices of the Clay County Attorney.”
The couple has also asked the U.S Attorney to investigate whether Thompson violated their civil rights,