With the Macon-Bibb elections less than a month away, WMAZ has been discussing issues with the seven mayoral candidates.

During the interviews,the candidates were asked if they'd been arrested or convicted of a crime. David Cousino was the only one to acknowledge an arrest and charges.

In his response, Cousino said, "Charged with or convicted of a crime? Not convicted. I've been falsely accused of crimes, yes."

Those crimes, Cousino said, were "...several things. Well let's see. Domestic dispute with my ex-wife, similar things of that sort, you know, the trespassing, all those things that go on when you have domestic dispute."

When asked if he was arrested, Cousino said, "Yeah, they arrested me, and all that was cleared up and expunged from my records, yes."

Cousino said he was only arrested one time, "...and, like I say, I (have) a weapons carry permit. So All my records are clean."

He reiterated that there was only one arrest and that the charges "were all dismissed..."

That happened, Cousino said, about 24 years ago. "I wouldn't be able to carry a weapons permit if it wasn't mainly a domestic."

But WMAZ obtained documents from the Twiggs County Superior Court Clerk's office that show he wasn't falsely accused. In 1991, Cousino was convicted of five charges stemming from a domestic dispute.

Six years later, the documents show, his record was cleared, because he was given first-offender treatment.

The court documents show it happened in February 1989 when Cousino was still married to Yvette Cousino, but the couple was separated.

That month, he went to the Twiggs County home of his mother-in-law Yvonne Hodges. That's when the family dispute broke out.

Later, a Twiggs County grand jury indicted Cousino on a terroristic threat charge for allegedly threatening to kill his wife.

He was indicted on a simple assault charge for allegedly hitting Richard Hodges, his father-in-law at the time.

The grand jury also indicted Cousino on two simple battery charges, one for allegedly choking and beating his mother-in-law and bending her neck. The other wasfor allegedly hitting his estranged wife.

He was also indicted on a criminal trespass charge for allegedly refusing to leave the property.

In 1991, a Twiggs County jury convicted Cousino on all charges. He was ordered to pay $3,963 restitution to his mother-in-law. He was fined $1,200 and sentenced to six years probation.

Since he didn't have a prior record, the court granted Cousino first-offender status. That means his record would be wiped clean after he completed probation.

WMAZ researched the case and had a followup discussion with Cousino about a week after the mayoral candidate interview. He claimed his ex-wife and her family were the aggressors.

Cousino said he went to his mother-in-law's home and was talking to her over a fence.

"Then she started yelling at me and screaming at me across the fence where she was at," Cousino said. "She started throwing a bunch of rocks at me and my automobile, dented the hood of my automobile, and when she dented the hood of my automobile, I told her, 'don't throw any more rocks at me,' I said, 'this is where rocks and sticks and stones do break bones,' and I told her, 'you throw one more rock at me, and I'm gong to come over that fence.' And sure enough, she threw one more rock at me, and I came over the fence, and that's where I made my mistake."

When asked if he threw his mother-in-law down, Cousino said, "I literally ran, and she started running, and she fell down. I didn't throw her down. What I did to her was when she ran and fell down, and I stood right above her and I grabbed hold of her shoulders, and I laid the biggest honkey on her face, and then I turned around and left."

When he was asked what he meant by 'honkey,' Cousino said, "Spit, right on her face. Then I took off."

"You spit on her?" he was asked.

"I sure did," Cousino said.

WMAZ asked Cousino why the incident is being brought up now. Cousino said, "What it is, is just like it is. Whoever is trying to do it is making a cheap shot towards my character, which my character doesn't even expose anything of that type, and if it was any of that type, where haveI ever had any of that between then or even the time that I was born."

Two days ago, Cousino's former wife, now known as Glenda Durden, contacted WMAZ to disclose his past legal problems. Durden said she did so because she wanted people to know that, in her opinion, Cousino isn't the person he portrays himself to be on the campaign trail.

The seven mayoral candidates meet in the Sept. 17 Macon-Bibb County elections.