Wednesday, October 10, 2007

City Councilman Richard McIver arrested

By Christina Siderius and Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporters

Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver was arrested and was booked into jail early today for investigation of domestic violence assault.

Seattle police went to McIver's address after receiving a 911 call shortly after midnight. Officers who responded to the Southeast Seattle home determined a physical assault had occurred, said Seattle police Sgt. Deanna Nollette.

McIver's wife, Marlaina Kiner-McIver told an officer that her husband had grabbed her by the throat and arm repeatedly before going on a "profane tirade," according to a Seattle police report. She told police she tried to push him off her at least three times, the report said.

Officers reported that she did not have visible injuries.

Police say McIver admitted that he had been drinking, and was probably drunk, and confirmed he had been in an argument with his wife. He denied making any physical contact during the argument, according to the police report.

King County Jail records show that McIver, 66, was booked shortly after the arrest and was being held without bail.

Anytime police respond to domestic violence calls, officers are required by state law to arrest the person they determine is the primary aggressor, said Seattle Police spokeswoman Reneè Witt. There are no exceptions to that, she said.

The Seattle City Attorney's Office has requested that the King County Prosecutor's Office handle McIver's case "because of a potential conflict of interest," said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

Domestic violence offenses in Seattle Municipal Court are either misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, or gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Dawn Mason, a former state representative speaking on Kiner-McIver's behalf, said Kiner-McIver is doing as well as can be expected.

"The best response is to have a strong circle of women around her right now," she said.

"If this is, in fact, alcohol involved, Councilmember McIver will go into treatment because that's a disease," said Mason.

In 1997, McIver was appointed to the council to complete the term of John Manning, a former cop who resigned after pleading guilty to domestic violence.

McIver was elected to a full four-year term later in 1997, then re-elected in 2001 and again in 2005.

McIver is currently chair of the finance and budget committee.

Seattle City Council president Nick Licata said the council "will continue working on items at hand. We will await statements from all parties involved."

Licata said he has not spoken with McIver.

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