Albany County GOP Chair Cited For Assault And Battery at State Party Convention
Albany County Republican Party Chairman Mike Pearce has been cited for assault and battery following an alleged altercation at the party's convention in Gillette over the weekend.
Carbon County GOP Chairman Joey Correnti was also reportedly involved in the fight, according to a Gillette Police Department news release.
Gillette Police say officers were called to the Wyoming Center, where the Wyoming GOP Convention Saturday evening was being held after it was reported that two men had a "physical altercation."
According to the news release, officers learned that Correnti and Pearce were arguing when they walked out of the building. Then, Pearce allegedly hit Correnti in the head.
Defending himself, the release says, Correnti took Pearce to the ground. Pearce reportedly suffered injuries that required medical treatment.
Police arrived to find Pearce sitting in a chair outside the building.
"Witness statements confirm Pearce was responsible for the escalation and Correnti was defending himself by taking Pearce to the ground," the statement says.
Accounts of the incident vary from witness to witness. For example, Sheridan State Representative Mark Jennings told Wake Up Wyoming's Glenn Woods on Monday morning that he was "probably the closest eye witness to the incident."
Jennings described Pearce as being heavily intoxicated and said he took the first swing during the alleged fight, corroborating police officers' account of the events.
"Every person has the right to defend themselves," Jennings said.
But Albany County GOP Delegate and US Senate candidate Mark Armstrong said Monday morning that Correnti was carrying what has been described as a "war club".
"Reporting that (Pearce) had been drinking all day is not true," Armstrong said. "(Correnti) is known for being obnoxious. He just is.
"Let's not try this in the media."
This story will be updated.
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