Suspect in abuse gives to Latimer
Embattled Grand Junction City Councilor-elect Rick Brainard donated the balance of his campaign funds to Latimer House, a Grand Junction shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Brainard’s final campaign contribution paperwork, on file with the Grand Junction City Clerk’s Office, indicates he donated $542 to the local nonprofit agency. Brainard raised $11,135 for his campaign, reports showed.
Those running for office can donate the remainder of their campaign funds to a nonprofit agency, return money to donors or opt to keep a running campaign account, provided any contributions or expenditures are reported.
Residents twice have protested Brainard taking his council post. He was elected April 2 but has been charged with misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault and harassment following an alleged altercation with his girlfriend April 6. Brainard, 51, said he will not resign and expects to take the oath of office May 6. Brainard’s attorney, Steve Laiche, declined to comment.
Mike Stahl, chief executive officer of Hilltop Community Resources, which runs Latimer House, confirmed Brainard donated the money during a meeting Wednesday.
Stahl said he accepted the money, although haltingly, knowing it came from his campaign contributors. “We have reservations and concerns about this being a political piece,” he said. “We had and have reservations, but we can utilize those funds wherever they come from. It wasn’t done blindly. We’re trying to educate Rick. Hopefully something good comes from this.”
Stahl said Brainard expressed interest in becoming some kind of an advocate against domestic violence. Stahl said he told Brainard that some kind of relationship may be possible if he moves forward with a number of steps to address domestic violence. Any kind of alliance with Hilltop or Latimer House would be way off in the future.
“There is no doubt Latimer House needs funds to continue to operate. But it needs to be given for the right reason, not as a publicity event,” Stahl said.