Eagle Co. sheriff candidate arrested in 1996 | AspenTimes.com

Eagle Co. sheriff candidate arrested in 1996

EAGLE COUNTY ” Sheriff candidate Brian “Scott” Griffin stumbled into legal trouble 10 years ago during a domestic dispute with his wife at the time.

The Democratic candidate pleaded guilty to harassment in 1996 and is now running for office against Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy.

“No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’ve made mistakes,” said Griffin, 40.

Griffin originally faced the harassment charge coupled with domestic violence, which the Eagle County district attorney later dropped.

Griffin received a deferred judgment for one year, meaning if he did not commit a criminal offense during that time, the incident could be wiped off his record. Griffin said he was not convicted of the crime. However, court records clearly show he signed a plea of guilty on May 13, 1996.

“I have nothing to hide,” Griffin said. “I was going through a divorce with my ex-wife.”

Griffin said he never has been arrested for another crime.

The charge stems from an April 13, 1996, incident in Gypsum. That day, Griffin arrived at his wife’s residence early in the morning to resolve a tax matter before the Internal Revenue Service’s April 15 tax deadline, Griffin told deputies.

“There was never any physical contact,” Griffin said Tuesday.

The woman said Griffin shoved her. Two of the woman’s friends who were concerned for her safety came to the house, and Griffin left shortly after, the reports show. One of the friends saw a semicircular red mark near the woman’s right shoulder, although a deputy observed no marks when he arrived, the reports show.

The reports also show Griffin contacted deputies about the incident and cooperated fully with deputies. In domestic violence incidents, the accused is always arrested to allow for a “cool-down” period, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Andree said.

Griffin said he believes the guilty plea to harassment shouldn’t hurt his bid for election.

“That’s not who I am,” he said.

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