In the days following his arrest on charges of spousal abuse and child endangerment resulting from an altercation with his wife on Aug. 27, Dawson said he was sorry for the actions that left her bruised and led to a pair of charges against him. Since then, however, he has grown defiant, insisting that he is back on the medications for bipolar disorder from which he suffers and steadfastly refusing to give up the four-year term to which he was elected last year.
The August incident is not the first time Dawson has shown the potential for violence. He’s had at least two angry confrontations that nearly led to blows and had to be broken up by bystanders following board meetings. He also passed a note to a fellow board member during a meeting, threatening to “kick your ass” over a policy disagreement. And he has accused directors Mark Simon and Ray Tetreault of political motivation in calling for his resignation, vowing that their comments meant he would not be leaving.
Then, given an opportunity to address the issue at last week’s CSD meeting, Dawson said nothing. His failure to address the issue with his colleagues and before the public seem to indicate his intention might be to ignore the controversy until it goes away.
But given Discovery Bay’s history of fractious politics, as well as the increasing public awareness and concern over the problem of domestic violence, this problem won’t be going away any time soon. And while Dawson insists that his personal situation will not impede the district from conducting business, that has already proven not to be the case.
Directors at last week’s meeting uttered not a single word about the incident, and instead attempted to conduct business as usual while ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room.
With the prospect of continued paralysis on the board, plus the uncertainty concerning his earlier actions and his current state of mind, the right thing for Dawson to do is step away from the board. Continued defiance and a possibly ugly recall election that could cost the CSD thousands of dollars would have a devastating affect on the board and the community. Before his personal life is drawn further into the maw of public conjecture, Dawson should do the right thing for his community, himself and his family, and resign immediately.