Councilman sentenced for domestic violence

January 12, 2009 4:27:37 PM PST
Belmont Councilman Bill Dickenson was sentenced to 20 days county jail time in San Mateo County Superior Court today following a November conviction on two misdemeanor domestic violence charges against his ex-girlfriend, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

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, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, 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 that her bruises appeared to be fresh.

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

Jurors found Dickenson guilty of both charges on Nov. 20 after two days of testimony.

During a Belmont City Council meeting five days after the conviction, Dickenson, who was the vice mayor, was passed over to serve as mayor despite being next in line.

Dickenson, who has said he will file a civil case against his ex for a six-figure sum of money she allegedly owes him, made a statement to Judge Mark Forcum this morning before being sentenced to 20 days county jail time with a surrender date of Feb. 28. He has one day credit for time served, leaving the sentence at 19 days, according to Wagstaffe.

Dickenson was also ordered to serve 3 years probation and complete 100 hours of public service work and 104 hours domestic counseling. He will also pay fines adding up to $780 and restitution to the victim of more than $2,600, Wagstaffe said.

Dickenson did not immediately return calls for comment.