Brian Nieves, running to replace termed out state senator John Griesheimer in Franklin County, an exurb of St. Louis, won a hotly contested Republican primary. But now he has gotten himself in the kind of legal trouble that could conceivably get him tossed off the ballot. Shawn Bell, an aide for one of his Republican opponents, described this scene in a complaint to the police:
In the statement to police that The Associated Press obtained Monday, the 24-year-old Bell said he stopped by Nieves’ campaign after the primary to offer congratulations to an aide there, but Nieves threw him up against a wall. Then, Nieves pulled a black gun out of his pocket and set it on a table and said he was going to kill Bell, according to the statement. Nieves later calmed down and said he wouldn’t kill him or put him in the hospital.
Nieves did not immediately return calls seeking comment left at his home and campaign office.
The statement goes on to say that Nieves checked Bell for a recording wire before head-butting him and slapping him several times. Then he dragged Bell into a kitchen area and ordered him to remove his shirt and get on his knees and beg for forgiveness.
Nieves told Bell everyone needs a “threaurapeutic” fight in which they get beat up, but instead of fighting him, ordered him to walk into an office. Nieves then started reading text messages on Bell’s cell phone and began writing down what some said. Nieves also told Bell to call his [Nieves’] wife and apologize because she was hurt by some of the rumors circulating during the campaign, according to the report.
Presumably the hurtful rumors Nieves referred to were those Sarah Jo mentioned here on Saturday:
[Nieves] won the state senate district 26 seat last Tuesday after a nasty local campaign. A letter mailed to selected voters from someone named John Franke listed Nieves’ alleged affairs of the heart (or whatever part of the anatomy was involved.)
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrat in that race, George “Boots” Weber, is rooting for Nieves’ legal troubles to topple him.