Arlington mayor speaks out about being assassination target

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 10:03 PM

NEWS 8 EXCLUSIVE

ARLINGTON — Nearly one year ago, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck showed up at his City Hall office to meet with a team of FBI officials.

"The agent in charge said, 'There is a gentleman that was going to have you killed, and it was going to be today or tomorrow,'" Cluck recalled.

For the first time, the mayor is speaking out in great detail about the plot to kill him that was uncovered in April 2012.

Given the recent killings of Kaufman County prosecutors Mark Hasse and Mark McLelland and his wife, Cluck said it is hard not to think about what if the worst had happened in his case.

"When I read about the murders in Kaufman, it kind of brought that all back... I could've easily been killed," he told News 8.

Cluck said it was over Easter weekend last year that he first knew something was wrong. FBI agents wanted to discuss something urgent, but refused to do so until they could meet in person.

The feds had arrested Ryan Grant, then 34, in a plot that involved hiring Mexican hit men to kill Cluck, along with a city attorney.

Grant was upset about growing city scrutiny of a strip club, according to court documents. In January, he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

"It seems just like a really bad, bad dream," Cluck said.

The mayor and his wife received a security detail outside their house. He got a three-man crew that followed him everywhere.

"One in front, one in back, one to the side. Everywhere I went, it was an entourage," Cluck said.

The mayor also revealed that he requested the detail be suspended after "only a few weeks," but that given what happened in Kaufman he would probably act quite differently today.

Cluck said in the wake of the Kaufman killings, Arlington has stepped up security, but he declined to offer any specifics.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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