Louisa mayor shaken by vice-mayor's arrest - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Louisa mayor shaken by vice-mayor's arrest

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LOUISA, VA (WWBT) -

Louisa Mayor Jim Artz was shocked by the arrest of the town's vice-mayor Friday for domestic assault and battery on her husband.

"I was really surprised," said Artz. "I'm still trying to figure it out."

Artz couldn't hold back tears as he spoke about Mary Jane Clarke. Artz has known Clarke for about 20 years. He had only positive things to say about the former elementary school teacher and principal.

"She's tough. 'My way or the highway,'" said Artz. "But she's a really good person."

According to the Louisa County Sheriff's Department, officers were called to the Clarke residence Friday evening. Major Donald Lowe said a fight started between James Clarke Senior and his 19-year-old grandson James Clark III.

According to Major Lowe, Mary Jane Clarke tried to break it up. Police won't say how far she went to break up the fight. Major Lowe said officers have been called to the Clarke residence for domestic disturbances before.

This is Clarke's first arrest.

"Violence in the home is very serious," said Jessica Norris, Special Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney's. Norris said her office plans to prosecute both Clarkes.

James Clarke III remains in jail but Mary Jane Clarke was released on bond and sent home. NBC12 went to the Clarke's home but there was no answer.

As for Clarke's position as vice-mayor, Artz said Clarke was willing to resign but he wouldn't accept her resignation.

Clarke and her grandson are due in court on March 8. Clarke will be at the next Town Council meeting on March 19.

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