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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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May 30, 2008 11:44 AM

Rep. Simpson says charges dropped

Posted by David Postman

(Commenters: Please don't traffic in rumors here. There's a record that is fair game, of course, but I'll delete stuff I find out of bounds.)

State Rep. Geoff Simpson, D-Covington, said in an e-mail to supporters today that domestic violence charges against him have been dropped, and he plans to run for re-election. Simpson wrote:

The unwarranted charges that were brought against me recently have been entirely dropped due to there being no evidence of any wrongdoing.

The charges came earlier this month after an altercation between Simpson and his ex-wife. He agreed to step down from his chairmanship of the Local Government Committee until the issue was settled.

Simpson suggested in his e-mail that voters in his district may not have heard the last about the charges.

I am certain the Republican machine is gearing up with negative attacks, but the voters have rejected personal attack campaigns against me before and will see through them again.

ADD: You can read the court order dismissing the charges here. The prosecutor's office said it no longer believed had enough evidence to press charges. And, court papers say:

In addition, based on the alleged victim’s stated intentions for calling 911 at the time of the incident, there is no evidence that the alleged victim was calling 911 to specifically report a domestic violence incident or that the defendant would have reason to believe that she was calling to report domestic violence.

I just talked with Simpson. He said police were called for "assistance in a dispute about what property she could take from my house."

No crime was committed. I should never have been charged in the first place because she didn’t even say there was domestic violence.

Simpson said he supports the state domestic violence law that led to his arrest, even though charges were dropped.

I’ve thought a lot about this the past several weeks. I don’t like what happened to me and I didn’t like going to jail with all the unpleasantness associated with that. But I think that’s better than the alternative.

The alternative, he said, is having police show up at a domestic violence call and be told by the alleged victim that there was no crime, only to find later that someone had been seriously injured or even killed.

The full e-mail is after the jump.

Subject: A statement from Geoff Simpson

Dear Friend,

It has been a tough few weeks but I am happy to share some great news with you.

The unwarranted charges that were brought against me recently have been entirely dropped due to there being no evidence of any wrongdoing.

I have been confident that this matter would be resolved and despite the unfortunate experience, I remain appreciative of the work done by those in our justice system to protect potential victims as well as innocent citizens.

If there is a bright side to this experience, it's the overwhelming encouragement I've received from family, friends, colleagues and supporters. I'll always be grateful to everyone who has stood by me.

Now that this is behind me, and with the unanimous and sole endorsement of the 47th District Democrats, I'm ready to focus my attention on the future. My re-election campaign is underway and I intend to resume my Chairmanship of the House Local Government Committee from which I temporarily took leave.

We have a lot of work to do and I hope you'll join me over the next few months and beyond to help working families, improve our transportation system and reform health care.

I have always faced a tough re-election challenge and this year will be no exception. I am certain the Republican machine is gearing up with negative attacks, but the voters have rejected personal attack campaigns against me before and will see through them again.

I look forward to working with you again in the campaign trenches - and to continuing my work in Olympia to champion the important causes that make this all worthwhile.

Thank you again for your understanding and support.


Geoff Simpson

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Posted by Turbine

12:27 PM, May 30, 2008

Just goes to show you that the Mrs. knows that the gravy train doesn't produce in Jail.

Posted by Tinkerbell Hilton

12:27 PM, May 30, 2008

Guess what Geoff? As a female voter I have no no tolerance policy for politicians who have domestic violence charges, allegations, accusations, blah freaking blah! And I am certain the voters in your district will NOT FORGET the charges that have been brought against you, um Republican Machine or not. Move on Geoff. The voters in Covington actually deserve a leader who leads not a leader who spins and "tries" to lead.

Posted by George

2:05 PM, May 30, 2008

Yet another liberal who say one thing and does another.

Posted by BillyG

2:09 PM, May 30, 2008

Tinkerbell: maybe you should base your decisions on facts instead of emotions. Or do you know something about this story that the rest of us don't? Guilty until proven innocent I guess...

Posted by Tinkerbell

2:41 PM, May 30, 2008

Um, Billy, follow the links..politics has no place for personal drama. Period. I stand by my *oh god* opinion that Geoff shoud not run for office because he is not a leader. End of discussion.


The News Tribune political blog has a statement from Simpson's campaign:

This is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. The end of a marriage is an emotional and trying time for any family, and mine is no exception. As a firefighter and first responder, I have witnessed the reality of domestic violence and provided care for many victims. As a state legislator, I remain strongly in support of erring on the side of protecting potential victims with our laws and their enforcement - even when, in situations like mine, it can result in unwarranted charges. I am confident that once the facts come to light I will be exonerated. I believe in our justice system and will continue to cooperate fully as this situation is resolved.

Posted by Turbine

5:28 PM, May 30, 2008

Innocent like McIver, the song remains the same. Obviously Gregorie will support his return to leadership.

Posted by JimD

6:32 PM, May 30, 2008

If this were a single accusation, I MIGHT feel more comfortable believing his wife acted in malice on this one occasion, and no such abuse actually occurred.
But there is apparently a history of similar claims.
And given wife's repeated claims over the years, and how slipping by an actual prosecution is all too typical when it depends on a spouse under intense pressure not to cooperate... his reputation no longer meets the higher standard for a public official.
Mr Simpson may not be "guilty" by judicial finding, but he hasn't presented a total package that proves he's "innocent" either.
He should go. We can do better.
Sorry Geoff Simpson. Too much smoke.
It by some stretch of probability, and against all gut impression by the public, you ARE actually innocent, too bad I guess.
Politics is a nasty business where public opinion is highly influenced by intangible, gut feelings.
Doesn't matter if the charges have been dropped, you're too high risk at this point.
And this is coming from a lefty that would otherwise want you to succeed.

Posted by Friend of Phil

10:51 PM, May 30, 2008

Look at pics of the Mrs from the last campaign... never was there a more miserable woman clearly under duress... duress of the campaign and duress of the divorce denied because of the campaign and duress of a miserable marriage.

Geoff is too slick by half and comes off as smarmy and untrustworthy. He used lousy tactics both WITH his wife and against his opponent last time.

You ask for "understanding and support", Geoff. Well we understand all too well buddy and our support goes to whomever it may be that runs against you.

Posted by Jerri

12:28 AM, May 31, 2008

It's a sad day when comments can be made about anyone, elected official, your next door neighbor, your co-worker.. and because they were printed in the newspaper or reported on TV that action gives them credibility, the ring of truth. Rep. Simpson went thru the process, the prosecuting atty looked at the circumstances leading up to the 911 call, looked at the evidence and the statements by all involved and decided that there was no reason to file charges against Rep. Simpson. We are so quick to believe the worse about people. Accusations are not always factual. Let's judge his performance in Olympia as a legislator, what he has been able to do to improve things for his constituents in the 47th and beyond when considering how we will mark our ballots this fall.

Posted by AD

1:19 AM, May 31, 2008

I understand an accused is innocent until proven guilty and it looks like Geoff will never be proven guilty, but just read his police statement about the incident. Read the police reports about his past incidences.

This is a man who, by admission, has obviously mishandled his relationship with his wife. Tried and convicted or not, it's a clear stain on his reputation.

Posted by History reminder

6:17 AM, May 31, 2008

Dropped? Interesting........ running again? I am so suprized......... not! Geoff has been accused before, during his last campaign. Search for an old website called the, talk to old city council members in Covington about how great and civil of a guy his is... not!

Do us all a favor and just be a fireman....... apparently you do that well and leave governing to someone else!

Posted by arne

11:18 AM, May 31, 2008

I love to see how people can traffic in rumors and innuendo so easily. Nevermind the fact that a non-partisan prosecutor couldn't find any evidence to support the charges against Geoff, Geoff's enemies are dragging out rumor and innuendo to try to smear a good public servant. It's pathetic, but it shows that the local GOP is out of ideas and will resort to throwing garbage. It's sad, really.

Posted by toobadsosad

4:27 PM, May 31, 2008

Since the Rethuglicans are plum out of ideas, they're turning to spreading rumors and lies about Democrats. Instead of debating the issues, they cry and whine on the internets.

You guys are pretty lame.

Geoff has been going through a pretty tough time as of late. All it takes is one false report and a man's life can be turned upside down.

At least Geoff supports DV laws, even if he was unfairly caught up in a baloney DV situation.

It's takes guts to lie on the internet, doesn't it fellas? When you can't beat Geoff at the ballot box, try something else, huh? The voters of the 47th aren't that stupid (which be why the GOP hasn't done well in recent years.)

Posted by Turbine

5:58 PM, May 31, 2008

What is the rumor or lie spread by Republicans about Geoff Simpson (DV-Covington) ? What is the 2nd or 3rd time around for him? Are the Police out to get him too? I think it is wonderful that Geoff will be back down representing good 'ol Democratic values in Olympia. it will be very interesting to see his campaign next time around. It's nice to know the Governor stand behind reinstating Geoff to his leadership positions too, I am sure that will play well for her.

Posted by AD

7:00 AM, Jun 01, 2008

toobadsosad: "one false report"? You obviously haven't been following this man's career. You obviously haven't read the police reports. Because when you look at BOTH SIDES of what has been reported in MULTIPLE INCIDENTS, it's clear that this is a man who mistreats his own wife.

The charges were dropped. Anyone who knows anything about domestic violence knows that there's usually only one witness to any incident: the victim. And if she decides at a later date to drop charges or not testify, the case goes away. The cycle of domestic violence has worked in the perpetrator's (Geoff's). They probably made up and he sweet talked her into letting it go. And now they'll be best friends until the time he decides to get violent again. :(

Posted by Mike

11:24 AM, Jun 01, 2008

I'm a Covington voter. I've voted both for and against Simpson. He's not my favorite politician, but he's been a better choice than some of his opponents.

What part of "innocent until proven guilty" is confusing people here? The prosecutor did not feel there was enough evidence to even bring charges. End of story, IMO.

I'm not at all sure I'll be voting for Simpson the next time he's up for election, but this won't be a factor in my decision either way.

Posted by JimD

11:55 AM, Jun 01, 2008

AD hits the nail on the head - exactly.
The pattern of complaints, and Simpson's spin, is a VERY common scenario in abuse situations.
It is highly unlikely Simpson's history is just a series of amazing coincidences that fit an otherwise well-known patter.
The law lets him off because they can't prosecute beyond a reasonable doubt.
But politics (and celebrity, etc) follows the more civil standard - "propondence of the evidence".
Armed with the facts to date, most would conclude it's more LIKELY he committed domestic violence, than he didn't.
As a lefty/democrat, it's frustrating that Simpson has given the "republican machine" this opportunity.
But if the position gets filled by a republican, better than a democrat who's most likely a serial abuser.
Careers have fallen by much less proof of guilt.
Simpson should do the public, his party AND WOMEN the right thing - drop out, and hopefully come to terms with the psychological demons that have destroyed his reputation, not to mention his marriage and family.
Too bad the "republican machine" presents such a convenient vehicle to perpetuate his denial.

Posted by Jim Guthrie

9:16 AM, Jun 02, 2008

What part of "innocent until proven guilty" is confusing people here?

That is a term for a court of law. And a court of law only.

If a person is selected to sit on a jury involving Mr. Simpson, then they are held to the standard of 'innocent until proven guilty.' Until then, anyone can think he's as guilty as the day is long.

Thing is, he simply doesn't play well with others. In a variety of situations both domestically and professionally.

Posted by Jessica Parker

11:18 AM, Jun 02, 2008

Well, well, it seems the "tolerant" and "unbiased" Postman partakes of censorship. Way to be neutral, David!

Are you taking orders from Will and Gentle Geoff's campaign now... or just bribes?

Your blatant censorship says far more about you than it does about the post you deleted... and with your censorship you managed to give icredence to the facts. Thanks!

Posted by Turbine

2:47 PM, Jun 02, 2008

The best thing one can do is to go to Geoff's website and review his list of supporting organizations. And when you come into contact with that group, make sure you let them know how you feel about their support for Mr. Simpson.

Posted by Postman

3:38 PM, Jun 02, 2008

Hey Jessica, I remain both "tolerant" and "unbiased" and that's why I deleted comments that were clearly out of line, just like I did two years ago when the same sort of things were written about a Republican. I delete very, very few comments. But no one should think that fairness requires attacks of any sort to stand on The Seattle Times site. That's not going to happen.

Posted by JimD

11:07 PM, Jun 02, 2008

There have been numerous accusations here that Obama is a Muslim.
It is a false accusation.
The posters certainly know it is false.
And the posters clearly intend to harm Obama's reputation by making them.
Yet, this anti-Obama slander was allowed to remain on the site - one bit of evidence among much more, that Postman's criteria are not party specific.
Notice too, Jessica, that your false and ill-intended comments about Postman - your host on this site - remain intact.

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