Boggs to answer charges ThursdayPublished 10:11am Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Commissioner arrested for domestic violence
Lawrence County Commissioner Les Boggs is expected to be in Ironton Municipal Court Thursday to respond to one charge of domestic violence and one charge of disrupting public service.
On Monday Boggs was arrested by Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies, charged and taken to the Lawrence County Jail. He was booked at 6:04 p.m. and was released at 6:38 p.m. after posting a $1,000 bond through Soward’s Bonding of Chesapeake, according to Sheriff Jeff Lawless and the report filed by deputies John Chapman and Tony Williams.
The domestic violence charge is a first-degree misdemeanor and the disrupting public service is a third-degree felony.
The arrest occurred after deputies responded to a 911 call from Boggs’ home off County Road 181 (Hog Run Road) just outside of Ironton at approximately 4:20 p.m., Lawless said.
According to the sheriff’s report, Tara Boggs came home and walked in front of the commissioner while he was playing a video game.
“He told her to move and they exchanged some words and she went upstairs,” the report states. “He followed yelling at her. … She states during this time he became violent and grabbed and pulled the back of her hair.”
Tara Boggs then pulled a cell phone out of her purse. Boggs took the phone away from her and left their home, according to the report.
“She states she fears for her safety and this isn’t the first time he has touched her,” the report continues. “She also states she has given her attorney pictures of physical abuse to her person for pending divorce.”
Arresting officer, Deputy John Chapman reported that were no signs of physical struggle and that Tara Boggs did not receive any injuries during the alleged incident.
Les Boggs filed for divorce in October and the case remains ongoing in Lawrence County court.
Lawless was adamant that the recent issues between the county commission and the sheriff’s office had no bearing or influence on how this case was handled. The two county entities have been at odds in recent days over budget cuts, a rift that resulted in the 911 center being removed from the sheriff’s supervision last week. The agencies were merged last March, a process that was still ongoing.
“This is an unfortunate situation. Our officers acted on the circumstances and have to treat everyone equally under the law,” Lawless said. “The law is not specific to certain standings, whether you are a politician or just an average citizen.”
Lawless said Ohio’s domestic violence laws essentially require officers make an arrest if certain criteria are met.
Ohio Revised Code section 2935.03 outlines that criteria in four points: history of domestic violence, was it in self-defense, each person’s reasonable fear of physical harm and the comparative severity of any injuries suffered by those involved in the alleged offense.
Lawless said he did not believe that Lawrence County EMS was called and that Boggs’ quick release from jail was standard procedure because misdemeanors have preset bonds.
Boggs was elected to the commission in 2008 and just began his second four-year term on Jan 1. He served as commission president for two years, with the last term ending earlier Monday when Bill Pratt was appointed to that spot.
Prior to joining the commission, Boggs served as the county’s clerk of courts for four years and on the Dawson-Bryant Board of Education.
Calls made to Les Boggs’ cell phone Monday evening and Tuesday morning and to the office of Boggs’ attorney, Scott Evans, were not returned by press time.