Belmont vice mayor maintains his inncocence

November 21, 2008 4:08:13 PM PST
One day after Belmont Vice Mayor Bill Dickenson was convicted of two misdemeanor domestic violence charges against his ex-girlfriend, he continues to maintain his innocence and insists he will file a civil case against her for a six-figure sum of money she allegedly owes him.

Jurors in San Mateo County Superior Court found Dickenson guilty Thursday of domestic violence and false imprisonment after two days of testimony.

The charges stem from an argument July 11 between Dickenson and his ex-girlfriend at the Redwood City Underground, a pub owned by the woman and where she had hired Dickenson as a consultant. They were the only people at the pub at the time of the fight.

Dickenson and his ex-girlfriend dated on and off from September or October 2007 to May 2008. During the trial, each testified the other was guilty of causing injury during the argument in July.

The woman said Dickenson told her she couldn't leave, grabbed her by the purse and swung her to the ground before dragging her across the floor. She said she was bruised on her arm and had red marks on her back from being pulled by her purse.

Redwood City police Officer Allen Wang, who responded to the pub after the woman's call, testified Wednesday that her bruises appeared to be fresh.

Dickenson testified that he never did such a thing, and said she hit him over the head with her purse and spilled a drink on him during the fight.

After deliberating for about an hour Thursday afternoon, the jurors found Dickenson guilty of both charges.

Outside the courtroom, Dickenson said he would "most certainly" remain on the City Council, even though the ordeal has "affected me personally, professionally and politically."

Belmont Mayor Warren Lieberman said this morning that he spoke with Dickenson on the phone Thursday night, and that the vice mayor sounded "a little bit shaken."

Dickenson, who could receive up to a year in county jail at his Jan. 12 sentencing, said he is considering making an appeal.

"I still believe very strongly I'm innocent," Dickenson said this morning. "I know what happened in the room."

In addition to upholding his innocence, Dickenson said he plans to file a civil case against his ex-girlfriend because after they entered into a business relationship, she allegedly never paid Dickenson back for money and time he invested in the pub where the July argument took place.

"She owes me for the time I put in there and for my ownership portion of the business," Dickenson said.

The two filed mutual restraining orders against each other after the argument.

"We have our good relationships and our bad relationships," Dickenson said. "Obviously I am human and made a poor decision on interacting with and getting into a relationship with (her)."


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