OPD report details Kelm not the aggressor

Odessa Police reports detail an eyewitness account shows GOP Precinct 203 Chair candidate Carmen Wilhite’s statements to police that she was the victim in a confrontation between her and GOP County Chair candidate Donna Kelm are not true.

Various social media reports and a press release from the Ector County GOP painted Kelm as the responsible party, but according to the official report by OPD Officer Bobby Pietropollo, witness Linda Hall said Kelm “did gently touch Carmen on the arm before Carmen pulled away. Linda states that Donna did not appear to be threatening or aggressive towards Carmen.”

The report states Kelm, 66, told officers “she gently touched Carmen’s arm in a non-aggressive way so she can simply request Carmen to not accuse her to being a Democrat (sic). She stated when Carmen, 62, flung her arm back she had grabbed Donna by the back of her hair and yanked on it, causing her pain and believing she may have pulled some hair out of her head.”

Hall, who is running for Precinct 1, said it was Wilhite who attacked Kelm, not the other way around.

“I’m going to tell you I have worked over there two days with Carmen and for two days she has tried to antagonize me. She has told everybody that I’m a Democrat,” Hall, 69, said Thursday night. “She does anything that she can to belittle and try to stir up trouble and I told her yesterday and today to stop talking about me, to stop interrupting me and to leave me alone and she says I’m the aggressor.”

Again and again Wilhite interrupted her while she was speaking with voters, Hall said.

“She would just walk up and start saying ‘She’s not telling you the truth. We’re the real Republicans. They’re Democrats,’” Hall said. “I felt so intimidated I went and stayed by my pickup for safety reasons.”

Wilhite didn’t respond to questions about the altercation (and also didn’t respond weeks ago about anti-gay comments she made).

Kelm said Thursday night she was resting per doctors orders and was shocked at how Wilhite claimed she attacked her at the Ector County Annex.

“I just touched her shoulder,” Kelm said. “I didn’t grab her. I just touched her shoulder and was trying to say ‘come on, stop saying I am a Democrat’ and she yanked my hair out.”

Kelm was treated by a doctor and was told to rest.

According to the OPD report, Wilhite wanted to file charges and she was given a case number and advised to contact Municipal Court. Kelm also reported the assault following her doctor’s appointment. OPD continues to investigate.

Kelm is running against GOP County Chair Tisha Crow and Wilhite against Odessa businessman Ronnie Lewis.

Lewis, through his Ector County Politics Facebook page, reminded people Thursday night that he warned them Wednesday night that Wilhite was “being aggressive and dishonest.”

“Tisha Crow and Jeff Russell held a two-day seminar for her appointed precinct chair on disrupting opponents and subversion,” Lewis wrote. “They’re using their training.”

He wrote he was proud of Kelm for stepping up and running against Crow and asked for prayers for her.