COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Police Officer's Association is criticizing the city manager's office after a city employee testified at a recent bond reduction hearing.
CPOA Executive Director Dale Roberts said in a media release, that on November 20, 2017, Glenn Cobbins, a representative of the city manager, appeared in Boone County court and testified on behalf of Lawrence Lawhorn to get a bond reduction. Back in October, a different city employee also testified at a bond reduction hearing.
"In response to our previous opposition to the in-court testimony of one of the City Manager’s employees, City Spokesman Steve Sapp spoke to the media on October 23, 2017, on behalf of the City Manager and said "'This won't happen again.' It has happened again," Roberts wrote in the media release.
Cobbins wrote a letter to the judge in support of Lawhorn. In his testimony, he stated that he wrote the letter "on behalf of Glenn Cobbins and the City of Columbia and the job I do for the city manager."
"First of all, I'm not a representative of the city. I represent Glenn Cobbins, first and foremost," he told ABC 17 News when asked to clarify.
Lawhorn has been convicted of five felonies. He's currently in the Boone County jail, accused in a March robbery, but he says he's innocent.
"I know his family, he's a man of honor when it comes to court," Cobbins said. "All we need here is for everybody to have a fair chance."
"We all make mistakes in our lives and you expect somebody to get a second chance but Lawhorn has already had more than five chances. Is this the person that's at the top of our list to reach out to and help?" Roberts countered.
Roberts told ABC 17 News that testimony like Cobbin's makes officers feel like they don't have the city's support.
Cobbins said he would like to sit down and talk to Roberts.
"If the city wants to contact us to have a meeting, I'm sure we'd take it to the board of directors and I would certainly consider that," Roberts said in response.
A judge granted the bond reduction for Lawrence Lawhorn Thursday. As of Thursday night, the city has yet to respond.
To read the official documents, click below: