In a city already rife with controversy and negative national scrutiny, this week’s detailed revelation of Vallejo CIty Councilmember Hakeem Brown’s criminal past “is going to create a firestorm,” said Mayor Bob Sampayan.
Open Vallejo’s Geoffrey King obtained court documents of domestic violence accusations or related crimes in at least nine different incidents — including five cases that resulted in criminal charges — of which Brown was convicted in three. Brown was also accused of striking his pregnant partners on at least two occasions. After one incident, for which he was convicted of felony domestic violence, the woman lost the child.
Also, according to the Open Vallejo article, at least five women have accused Brown of physical violence over the past two decades. He has faced more than a dozen charges involving domestic violence, and was convicted of at least three, two of them felonies. Brown spent more than four years in prison for assaulting his then-pregnant wife.
“This is very disturbing,” Sampayan said Wednesday.
Sampayan added that no candidate for public office in Vallejo is subject to a background check or drug test.
Brown referred media inquiries to his “Letter to the Community” posted on his Facebook page Monday, beginning with “This weekend it came to my attention that a political group supporting one of my campaign opponents was preparing to undertake a smear campaign against me based on lies, distortions and mistruths. My attorney and I have taken decisive action to warn Open Vallejo that untruthful attacks on my character will result in legal action based on slander and libel.”
In the letter, Brown acknowledged his “troubled youth” that included arrests for drugs and possession of a firearm. Apparently referring to the domestic violence arrests, Brown called the incident(s) a “scuffle” with a domestic partner.
Sampayan said “scuffle with a domestic partner” minimized “what he had done. I knew he had a narcotics history, but I didn’t know it was violent acts against women. He never told to me. Again, it’s very disturbing.”
Sampayan recounted his own exchanges with Brown during council meetings.
“He’s had difficult times controlling his anger,” said Sampayan, confirming that background checks aren’t required of council members.
“I don’t know what the legal ramifications on that would be,” Sampayan said.
Sampayan said he received “several emails this morning asking that Brown resign from the city council; that he step down from any kind of public office, boards and commissions and that he discontinue his campaign for mayor.”
Brown has referred media calls to his Facebook letter and hasn’t commented on his future in city government. He didn’t return messages left by phone and text from the Times-Herald on Wednesday.
Sampayan said it Brown declines to resign, “He will remain on the council unless he is recalled.”
The Open Vallejo revelations adds to Vallejo’s notoriety — including ongoing investigation in alleged police officer improprieties and officer-involved shootings.
“Unfortunately, this has created lot of controversy where we have controversy already,” the mayor said.
Councilmember Robert McConnell, running against Brown for mayor, issued a statement to the Times-Herald:
“The one person who can best make …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment