New DeWitt board member charged with aggravated battery
CLINTON — A man who was elected to the DeWitt County Board last month has been arrested for aggravated battery against DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency Director Teresa Barnett.
According to a report from the DeWitt County sheriff's office, Terry Hoffman, 55, who listed an address in Maroa, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the sheriff's office.
Hoffman, who is one of seven new members of the county board, was charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery and spent the night at the DeWitt County Jail.
After Judge Dan Flannell ruled Thursday there was probable cause for Hoffman's arrest, Flannell set Hoffman's bond at $10,000.
Hoffman, who was seated on the county board on Dec. 3, was released after posting 10 percent of the bond. His next court appearance has been set for Jan. 16.
Hoffman said in a written release that Barnett invited county board members to visit her office.
"I took her up on that offer, dropping by to speak with her and other county officers Wednesday morning," Hoffman said. "Part of our discussion covered the difficulty, breadth and stress of the emergency procedures and bureaucracy for which she is responsible."
Hoffman said that, at the end of the visit, he reached over and "poked her upper arm." He said in the statement that he intended his action as "a friendly gesture of understanding."
"At no time in our discussion were harsh words exchanged," Hoffman said.