by Goldy, 05/30/2008, 4:11 PM

As reported by Postman, all charges have been dropped against state Rep. Geoff Simpson, stemming from his arrest after an incident with his ex-wife. From the court order dismissing the charges:

Based on all of the information obtained in the present matter, the City no longer believes it has a sufficient evidence to go forward with the charges herein.  In regards to Count one, Assault in the Fourth Degree — DV, the City does not believe that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the conduct of the defendant was not legally justifiable.  Without the predicate domestic violence offense, the City is likewise unable to go forward with Count Two, Interfering with the Reporting of Domestic Violence.  In addition, based on the alleged victim’s stated intentions for calling 911 at the time of the incident, there is no evidence that the alleged victim was calling 911 to specifically report a domestic violence incident or that the defendant would have reason to believe that she was calling to report domestic violence.

Interestingly, Simpson tells Postman that despite his arrest and night in jail, he still supports the domestic violence laws that left police with little discretion but to detain and charge him:

“I’ve thought a lot about this the past several weeks. I don’t like what happened to me and I didn’t like going to jail with all the unpleasantness associated with that. But I think that’s better than the alternative.”

The alternative might be a victim denying abuse out of fear, only to be seriously injured or murdered after the police leave the scene. It is a complicated issue that certainly deserves more thought, but the current law is certainly better than the more hands-off approach to domestic disputes that used to prevail.

As for the political fallout, Simpson wrote in an email to supporters:

I am certain the Republican machine is gearing up with negative attacks, but the voters have rejected personal attack campaigns against me before and will see through them again.

No doubt. And I do think that in the absence of charges, such attacks might have been more effective had the GOP not used them in the previous campaign. Without a court case to keep this issue fresh, most voters will likely view the attack ads and mailers as old news. And that’s good news for Simpson.

43 Responses to “All charges dropped against Rep. Simpson”

1. GBS spews:

I hope the GOP lets loose with the negative ad campaign.

It’s totally going to backfire in their faces.

We have real and serious issues facing voters this fall on local, state, national and international policies.

Going negative this year just simply will not work. It only proves that Republicans have ideas all right, it’s just that they’re all bad and the Republicans are all corrupt, morally bankrupt, and, quite frankly, a bunch of whiny ass losers.

Republican men should see a doctor to determine whether or not their testicles will ever descend from their tummies.

2. rhp6033 spews:

Okay, I’m going to try to be rather even-handed here, and speak of general principles rather than specifics of this case.

Generally speaking, when charges are filed, it is nothing more than an allegation which has yet to be proven. This may be especially true in domestic violence cases, where the officer’s discretion is severely curtailed.

When charges are dropped, for whatever reason, I consider that a withdrawal of the allegation. It comes somewhat short of an exoneration, because the charge could arguably be re-filed if further evidence arises within the period of the statute of limitations. But it’s legal effect is as if the arrest/allegation were never made.

A charge which is dropped for “insufficient evidence” means simply that the prosecutor doesn’t believe that he/she has a reasonable chance of winning their case. It might mean that there is evidence to prove the case, but it is legally inadmissable in court. Or it could mean nothing more than the fact that the prosecutor has limited resources, and can’t let ten other defendants go free while they prosecute this one high-profile case. Or it might mean that the arrested person is considering a civil lawsuit against the city, and the prosecutor is offering to drop the criminal charges if the defendant agrees not to pursue a civil case.

That doesn’t mean that an allegation can be made which is true, even if charges are never filed. Dem. Congressman Jefferson is rumored to have been caught with money in his freezer which hasn’t been explained, but no charges have been filed (to my knowledge) – so it remains nothing more than an unproven allegation. Likewise, Rep. Vitter has been alleged to have consorted with prostitutes, but no charges have been filed (to my knowledge), so it remains an unproven allegation. Also, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney are alleged to have been involved in the outing of Valerie Plame, but no charges have been filed, so it remains an unproven allegation.

Of course, the famous incident in the airport restroom is a different can of worms. In that case the defendant plead guilty, although his motives for doing so are somewhat in dispute. After reading the police report, I thought the defendant in that case would have probably won a criminal trial if he had chosen to contest the charges. But he plead guilty instead, and his efforts after-the-fact to rescind that plea were rejected by the court, who noted that if anybody was in a position to understand the consequences of pleading guilty to a crime, it should have been that defendant.

So the question remains: to what extent should voters consider unproven charges of criminal activity by their representatives in an election? Alaska Sen. Stephens is being investigated for corruption, but it is unlikely he will be charged, much less brought to trial, before the next election. Should the allegations against him be ignored, because the prosecutors don’t feel that they have made a sufficient case against him (yet)? Even if someone is convicted, like the former Alabama governor, should we consider that perhaps their prosecution was politically motivated, and the trial was not conducted with impartiality and any conviction was therefore tainted?

Anyway, some thoughts about the nature of guilt, innocence, and the various levels “in-between”. Take it for what it’s worth.

3. The Authorities spews:

Why of course, we should have a law mandating that the Police arrest someone if they go on a DV call. It’s called presumption of guilt. If we applied it uniformly, we would avoid many, many crimes.

The foromer USSR in yesteryear, and Cuba even today, achieve/d almost crime free status. Let us learn from them.

4. Max spews:

Heh. Ted Stevens plays the victim card, and Geoff Simpson does the exact opposite – he avoids playing the lazy role of “the persecuted one”, and stands up for REAL victims.

5. Rick D. spews:

Goldy’s post in Sumnation and cutting through his bullshit:

“Horses Ass website, while not condoning Domestic Violence, will however grant immediate clemency and official pardon to the following offenders:
if the offender is a Democratic politician; if the offender is a registered Democratic voter; or if the offender has at any time in his/her life claimed to be a “Democrat” by party affiliation.”

I hope this clears up the confusion.

6. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

He is guilty. It is just for the republicans to use any allegation against a dem because they are mostly true. The democrats are the party of false accusations. Just ask Dan Rather.

7. headless lucy spews:

Republicans are ninnies.

8. headless lucy spews:

Republican = ninny dunce dolt fathead moron nincompoop dope blockhead nitwit cretin simpleton dork ignoramus numskull boob nerd dimwit dunderhead idiot

But NINNY says it all.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

@5 I suppose it’s asking too much that you go to Stefan’s sucky little blog, read what he wrote about it (from which you might take a cue), click on the link to the police report that he thoughtfully provided, read said police report, then explain how this is anything other than an inadvertent touching, which is not the same thing as assault. The problem with this case is there’s no victim, and there’s no victim because no assault occurred. The only thing that got assaulted was a tax form they were both trying to grab at the same time. But, yes, I’m right; asking Rickie Dickie to apply some analytical reasoning to the known facts is asking for more than R.D. is capable of.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6 What would you know? You’re just a stupid dog.

11. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

A stupid dog is smart enough to use a 1970 typewriter when forging documents from 1972. More than I can say for you dimwits…heehehehe

12. michael spews:

@2

With Stevens there’s a paper trail that that viewers at home can play along, so to speak. There are also many people and multiple incidents over a long span of time involved. The investigation started according to the Anchorage Daily Times, “in secret since 2004 or earlier.” and turned up many other cases of corruption.

Vs. Simpson which is a case of something that happened in private, on one occasion and in the dropping the charges the court states:

based on the alleged victim’s stated intentions for calling 911 at the time of the incident, there is no evidence that the alleged victim was calling 911 to specifically report a domestic violence incident or that the defendant would have reason to believe that she was calling to report domestic violence.

I’d say that there’s a hell of a big difference between the two cases.

There’s also a similarity in the two: if you let things get so out of hand that the cops have to come and break up an argument and think they need to haul you off to cool down or look into your finances and all your buddies you’re in bed with are going down on charges you should step down from public office.

Simpson and Stevens should both step down.

13. K spews:

Any basis for your opinion of guilt, dog, or just spew?

Oh yeah, you ignore facts.

14. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

K must be one of those utra-moonbat 1%ers who still believe that Rather and company was telling the truth. hehehehe

15. K spews:

Just give me a fact, dog, just one.

You don’t seem to need them. Tell me again how Rossi won. Explain the judge and the venue.

Then explain Bush’s heroic service in the Guard.

Delusional dog. Yeah, you’ve got the facts.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

In other news, Richland Republican Shirley Hankins, who is quitting the legislure, has fired a broadside against her own party.

According to PolitickerWA.com, Hankins “complained that Republican insistence on lower taxes is nice and all, but does nothing for the long term status of the state.” Hankins said, “All of this conversation about cutting taxes or changing fees or having initiatives, that isn’t a plan for this state.”

(Quoted under fair use)

A well-informed Republican — and we don’t have any of those on this blog — might point out that Hankins was forced out by ethics problems and argue she’s merely spewing sour grapes. The trouble with this approach is that, first, what she says about WSRP is true, and second, her personal troubles are irrelevant to the issues she raises. She’s simply offering constructive criticism aimed at helping her party be more effective and therefore more competitive. Three’s probably no chance at all they’ll listen, though.

17. michael spews:

Yay, Shirley Hankins!!! And thanks for stepping down, it was the right thing to do.

18. michael spews:

#12 Continued…

Simpson flew off the handle, any of us could do that. When you fly off the handle to the point where the police feel the need to cart you off for the night you shouldn’t be in or running for public office. He, however, should be welcomed back AFTER taking some time off and getting his head in check.

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

@18 I do get the feeling in Simpson’s case that dropping the charges doesn’t make him an innocent victim of a wrongful arrest. Simpson himself chose his words carefully, saying the arrest was “unwarranted” — he didn’t call it “unjustified.” And neither will I. Apparently he and his ex-wife both tried to grab the same piece of paper at the same time, and from the narrative in the police report it appears some jostling occurred, more in the nature of collision than grabbing. There may be insufficient evidence to prosecute, but there was probable cause to arrest. I don’t think the cops acted arbitrarily in this case. It’s better to err toward caution in domestic cases.

20. michael spews:

@19

I’ve been stressed out to the point where I was yelling and kicking a washing machine before. When you’re in that state you just don’t belong in any kind of public office. Campaigns aren’t easy, holding office isn’t easy, that’s just more stress on an already stressed person. Take some time out, relax and if you want to come back to it later on do it then.

Stevens, on the other hand, is a career crook who needs to be perp walked out of the senate.

21. BigGlen spews:

The problem is that Geoff Simpson can now be beat. And the 47th district does some republicans that are bat shit crazy. One them could win vs Simpson. However if Simpson steps aside the either Rebecca Clark or Debbie Jacobson could easily win his seat. And it is getting clear that he is have troubles being a fireman, state leg. and single father all at once.

22. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

Just give me a fact, dog, just one.

You don’t seem to need them. Tell me again how Rossi won. Explain the judge and the venue.

That is easy. King County counted ballots not counted in the two previous counts. The rest of the State should have had as many uncounted ballots given the law of averages but it didn’t. What else do you need. Gregiore stole the election plain and simple. If you are too dumb to understand it’s not my fault. roof roof

23. Jane Balough's Dog spews:

Actually it does kind of make sense, democrats can’t count to save their silly liberal ass. Hell their presidential hopeful thinks there is 59 states. hahahahahahaa

24. Richard Pope spews:

All other things being equal, it is less damaging politically to get into a physical scuffle with one’s ex-wife, than to get into a physical scuffle with one’s mother. By definition, the ex-wife has already been divorced, but one cannot divorce their own mother. If one alleges that their ex-wife is nuts, that is one thing, but if one alleges their own mother is nuts, that might be hereditary.

25. YLB spews:

King County counted ballots not counted in the two previous counts.

Other counties found ballots as well. Sigh.. Here we go again.

26. proud leftist spews:

Simpson and Stevens are apples and oranges. During the course of a divorce acting intemperate is not the same as raping the nation for decades. Ted Stevens is a piece of shit. As an Alaska native (though not Native), and someone who has lived there periodically throughout my life, the Alaskan turn toward the right flummoxes me. Most Alaskans I know could give a shit about abortion, gay marriage, or any other sort of “family value.” Hell, most of them who weren’t born there are escaping some problem from the Lower 48. So, why have Stevens and Murkowski (daughter) and Don Young maintained their stranglehold on Alaskan politics? Cash, earmarks, and the like. Nothing more. May Ted get justice.

27. gs spews:

Simpson is a brain dead wack job! Tax the F out of anything and everything you can, and throw another $600 per car on the backs of the citizens in this state.

He and Chase make a real pair of liberals to draw to…

Cuckooooooooooo

28. Roger Rabbit spews:

@22 “The rest of the State should have had as many uncounted ballots given the law of averages but it didn’t.”

Bullshit. You’re a fucking liar, and I’ll prove it.

I just ran an analysis comparing King County to the state average (which counts all the counties) and two large counties that Rossi won. I calculated what percentage of the total vote was added between the Election Night count and the manual recount.

Statewide: 0.148%
King Co.: 0.174%
Snohomish Co.: 0.163%
Spokane: 0.144%

The difference between King County and the rest of the state is only 26 thousandths of one percent.

The difference between King County and Snohomish County is only 11 thousandths of one percent.

The difference between Spokane County and the state average is only 4 thousandths of one percent.

A thousandth of one percent is miniscule. A hundredth of one percent is insignificant. Even a tenth of one percent is insignificant.

All of the large counties added a small number of votes during the recounts by nearly the same percentages. Why? Because optical scanning machines don’t read all the ballots. And because it’s normal for a small number of mistakes to occur during the counting process, and these mistakes occur everywhere.

And guess what: Snohomish County was one of two counties to use touch-screen voting machines at polling places, and despite that, they had an error rate almost equal to King County’s.

Go fuck yourself, dog. You’re a fucking liar.

29. Roger Rabbit spews:

@24 Richard, do you really think the average voter thinks about all that when he/she is voting?

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

@27 And we need more like him! We should tax you Republican sows until you vaporize or move to another state! Washington will be a better place to live when there isn’t a single fucking Republican left here. A Republican is civic decay, worse than urban blight.

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

Why McClellan Squealed

From Newsweek:

” … [T]he Bush crew should have remembered the most immutable law of human nature: if you humiliate someone, he will want to get even.”

(Quoted under fair use)

32. Rick D. spews:

Roger Rub-it would have fit right in around Germany circa 1930′s……..you willing to fire up the ovens there bunny?

33. proud leftist spews:

Roger @ 28
You are presenting facts to Republicans. Republicans are incapable of acknowledging facts. Should I laud your effort, an effort borne surely of idealism, or suggest that you are just wasting your time?

34. Roger Rabbit spews:

Buried deep in the annual report of a company that provides childbirth and infant care services are statistics suggesting that economic woes began producing a sharp decline in the U.S. birth rate last August when the credit crunch hit.

35. Roger Rabbit spews:

@33 No, I’m presenting facts to the world, so the world understands that fucking dog is a liar.

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

@32 No, I’m not willing to fire up the ovens, and had I been around then, I would have bombed them to rubble and shot their SS operators without a qualm.

Looking around today, I see the Republicans of my own country running gulags, torturing innocent people, and trampling the Constitution and our civil liberties. Not hard to figure out who the present-day Nazis are.

You’re on the wrong side of this argument, pal, and that makes you a traitor.

37. Rick D. spews:

I’ll engage you tomorrow Bunny…….when you’re sober.

enjoy your 1 person chatroom until then.

Cheers!

38. Roger Rabbit spews:

@37 Engage me? You just had your ass handed to you. Do come back tomorrow to get your ears boxed.

39. Daddy Love spews:

Rick D comes in, and in two posts slams Goldy as a partisan and calls RR a Nazi.

Thanks for this further contribution to the “real debate on the issues,” Rick. Good to see how hard you are working to raise the level of discourse.

My personal opinion is that you can’t even see your intense projection.

40. David spews:

Where I used to live, if either person in an argument called 911 then both people went to jail.

I’ve been told numerous stories of how the “I’m calling 911 so you get arrested” backfired on the caller.

41. Roger Rabbit spews:

@41 I make disgraceful comments* on public blogs too, but I’m not running for anything.**

* Necessitated by Republicans’ disgraceful comments on public blogs; ya gotta fight fire with fire, and piss with piss!

** Why anyone would want to be an elected official is a mystery. Perhaps one reason why more Republicans than Democrats are elected officials in certain parts of the country is because they’re crazier than we are.

42. Rick D. spews:

Goldy logic:

“It’s okay to beat your wife, just make sure you’re a Democrat when you do it.”

James Brown and Ike Turner approve of this ad

43. Rick D. spews:

Daddylove…the proof is in the pudding

30. Roger Rabbit spews:
Washington will be a better place to live when there isn’t a single fucking Republican left here. A Republican is civic decay, worse than urban blight.

…Fire up the ovens Bunny. Sieg Heil!!

God forbid The bunny has exposure to an alternative political viewpoint. Afterall, It might just make him think for himself some day in the forseeable future.