Brainard says he won’t withdraw after arrest
Grand Junction City Councilor-elect Rick Brainard says he intends to serve despite his arrest Saturday on suspicion of domestic violence against his live-in girlfriend.
“There has been some speculation as to whether I will withdraw from my newly elected position with the Grand Junction City Council,” Brainard said in a prepared statement released this afternoon. “I have no intention of withdrawing and look forward to serving on the Council as I was elected to do.”
The statement expressed appreciation for “the many calls and emails of support I have received the past few days. Thank you for acknowledging that I have not been tried or convicted of anything.”
The statement continues, “I knew when I decided to run for public office that public service also means public scrutiny. Just as I promised during the campaign to listen and consider all sides of challenging issues before making policy decisions, I hope the citizens in our community will grant the same to me throughout this process.”
In his interview with police early Saturday, Brainard initially denied an altercation with his girlfriend turned physical before later admitting to pushing her, grabbing her hair, and slapping her, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Daily Sentinel.
“Rick stated that he slapped (girlfriend) because she needed to ‘shut her mouth,’ ” reads a non-redacted version of the affidavit. “Rick stated that (girlfriend) had said something so offensive that he had to slap her.”
The document continues, “When asked what offensive thing was said, Rick stated he did not remember, although later he stated she had been saying for over one hour that he was sleeping with other women.”
Brainard’s interview with a Grand Junction police officer was deleted from the version of the arrest affidavit released on Saturday by the Grand Junction Police Department.
Brainard went to the Grand Junction Police Department after being called by an officer early Saturday, the affidavit said.
Brainard originally told the officer the altercation was minor and that “he may have been accidentally scratched on his forearm but that there were no intentional injuries,” the affidavit continues. “Rick was asked if there was any other physical portions of the altercation and Rick stated there were not.”
When pressed on details by an officer, recounting a statement Brainard’s girlfriend already had given, “Rick then admitted that there was more than the initial tussle for the phone.”
“Rick admitted he had grabbed (girlfriend), pushed on her chest, and he admitted to slapping her on the left side of her neck/cheek area,” the affidavit said.
The woman told officers she’d been living with Brainard since November and an argument started Tuesday night, when she noticed a call or text message on his phone from a past girlfriend. She said he left Tuesday night and returned around 10 p.m. Friday when the argument became physical, saying she was pushed “several times” into a dresser, her hair was pulled, and she was grabbed by the arm and face, according to the affidavit.
She said she was pinned against the dresser after calling Brainard a “liar and cheat.”
“(Girlfriend) stated that she called out for her son to call 911, causing Rick to let her up,” the affidavit said.
County Court Judge Gretchen Larsen on Monday ruled Brainard, 51, who was elected April 2 to the City Council’s at-large seat, is prohibited from contacting his girlfriend. The order includes her current residence, which is Brainard’s home at 2207 Avenal Court in the Redlands.
He’s expected back in court May 6, when Brainard is also scheduled to be sworn into office.
Read the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel