CSD Vice President Brian Dawson said this week that he will not resign his seat on the board despite calls from fellow directors to step down in the wake of his arrest on suspicion of spousal abuse.
“In light of the fact that he was arrested for domestic violence and pending a potential trial, I believe the right thing is for him to resign from the board and take whatever time is necessary to bring his family together,” said CSD Director Mark Simon.
CSD Director Ray Tetreault also called for Dawson to step down. “I’ve been thinking about this since it happened, and I wish the best for him and want him and his family to get this behind them and work things out,” said Tetreault. “But if he cares about the Town of Discovery Bay at all, he should resign.”
But a defiant Dawson insisted Wednesday he would stay on the board and expressed anger with Simon and Tetreault for calling for his resignation publicly in the press.
“I am very disappointed that the two minority voting members of the board would use this as a political move to strengthen their position on the board and to grandstand in the press,” said Dawson. “They just bought themselves two more months with me.”
Dawson said Wednesday that he did not believe his personal struggles have affected his ability to serve on the CSD. During his tenure on the board, however, he has been involved at least twice in post-meeting confrontations that nearly came to blows. The separate incidents involved a fellow board member and a member of the public. Both were broken up by bystanders before punches were thrown, and no arrests or charges resulted.
Board President Kevin Graves could not be reached for comment for this story. Director Chris Steele stopped short of calling for Dawson’s resignation.
“I would wish for Brian to take care of his wife and his relationship first,” said Steele. “I hope that he will focus on his family first.”
Dawson was arrested Aug. 27 on suspicion of spousal battery following a domestic dispute at his home on Sand Point Road. Upon arrival at the scene, deputies found that a telephone had been pulled from the wall and that a physical altercation had occurred between Dawson and wife Jessica. She sustained some bruising but did not require hospitalization. Dawson was booked into the Martinez County Jail and later released on $20,000 bail. He faces possible felony charges and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 31.
Dawson said he has a history of bipolar disorder and that financial hardships had made it impossible to afford his medication in recent months. He said that, since his arrest, he is back on his medication, managing well and plans to attend the next CSD board meeting on Sept. 21.
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Dawson. “I have not been convicted of any crimes and I’m staying to finish the work I was elected to do … I sent my board an e-mail telling them that I was not going to resign and that I look forward to seeing them at the next meeting.”
Dawson was appointed to an open seat on the CSD board in 2009 and elected to a four-year term in 2010. According to Discovery Bay General Manager Rick Howard, the CSD has no legal say regarding whether or not Dawson retains his seat on the board. But should Dawson be charged with a felony and convicted of the crime, CSD law states that he would automatically forfeit his seat.