EAGLE, Colorado - Former Eagle County commissioner candidate Shayne Mitchell called domestic violence allegations "unfounded," and prosecutors agree with him, dropping all three misdemeanor charges.
The accusations derailed Mitchell's county commissioner campaign. He was running against incumbent Jon Stavney.
When the charges were dropped, prosecutors told Eagle County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan that the alleged victims did not want to pursue the case any further - the first time they'd been called "alleged" victims, Mitchell said.
Prosecutors told the judge that they didn't think they'd be able to get a conviction.
The charges were dropped Dec. 20.
"There were substantial financial costs, as well as emotional costs," Mitchell said.
Mitchell's ex-wife had had some significant health issues stemming from the onset of epilepsy. She's in her early 40s, Mitchell said.
"My daughter and I talked about it so I set her up with a bedroom in my home," Mitchell said. "We got her with some neurologists to get the help she needed. She lives healthy now."
There was a time frame set to that, Mitchell said. That time frame came and went and months more passed, he said. He repeatedly told her she needed to come up with different living arrangements.
The last time he told her, the discussion ended in an argument, Mitchell said.
His daughter told police she heard her mother and father arguing and called police.
"Less than an hour after the last time I told her that, I was arrested," Mitchell said.
His ex-wife and daughter live in a different county, in an apartment for which he paid the first and last month's rent and the damage deposit, he said.
"It's going to sting for a while, but I don't regret doing it and having a part in helping her get healthy," Mitchell said.
He said he has strong feelings about what he was put through.
"It's my opinion that some of the systems put in place to protect people have the potential to damage families," Mitchell said. "Something like this gets so sensationalized and sometimes the facts are obscured and ignored."
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.