Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ah, politics!
Sorry I've not posted this week but it's been very busy at work.
You may have heard of the most talked about story in the Valley this week, The following is the police report:

At 8:40 P.M. police officers were dispatched to "Max's Tavern" 1800 West Columbus Avenue for a disturbance involving two females. When the officers arrived on scene they observed a female on the stretcher of an AMR Ambulance. She was being treated by the EMT's on scene. She was identified as Susan Dawson age 44 of Agawam, MA. Ms. Dawson told the investigating officers that she was "the Mayor of Agawam". She told the officers that she was at a function in the City of Springfield and stopped at Max's on her way home. She went on to state that she went to the ladies room and on her way out a 61 year old female acquaintance from Longmeadow, Massachusetts attacked her. This woman grabbed her by the hair with both hands and threw her to the ground. When she was on the ground the 61 year old attacker kicked her several times. Ms. Dawson told the officers that she believes she was knocked unconscious for a brief moment due to the attack. After the attack a busboy intervened and the Manager told the busboy to make sure the 61 year old attacker did not leave the premises. The busboy reached out to block her exit and the female Longmeadow resident grabbed the
busboy by the throat with both hands and started to choke him. The busboy broke the grasp and the 61 year old female confronted Dawson again who was seated on the patio now calling her a name. The attacker was then observed entering a red motor vehicle which was operated by an unknown female. Mayor Dawson was treated and released at Baystate
Medical Center.

Agawam Mayor Susan Dawson has been advised to seek her own complaint in Springfield District Court. The Assault and Battery was not committed in a Police Officers presence and at this time is non-arrestable.

We now know Dawson was having dinner with her longtime boyfriend who is seperated but now divorced from his wife, who was the attacker. And apparently she is pressing charges.

The radio boys at WHYN had a field day with this one – I bet Bax and O'Brien did as well – and The Republican has done three stories so far, the latest being in today's paper – all on the front page.

Here's the question, though: does poor judgement in an elected official's social life really mean anything any more? Dawson is pretty dumb for dating a married man. Period. But, being stupid about your personal life isn't necessarily a crime and in this case there was no crime committed by the mayor. So how much of a story is this?

I think it's a story because it says something about character and judgement. I'm sure there are some people who would disagree with me.

By the way, I don't know Dawson other to say "hello." I don't cover Agawam. I have no axe to grind with her.

And I don't condone the wife's actions. There was no need for violence. I'm sure she could have exacted her revenge in a courtroom.

Dawson came into office with a margin of 38 votes and is running for re-election in a small town full of people who are going to talk about this incident from now until November. it will be fascinating to see how she handles this issue, especially since she is pressing charges so there will be renewed stories about it in the press in the coming weeks.

if she were smart, she would drop the charges, hold a press conference and explain that perhaps she had a lapse in judgement in dating someone still legally married. It's worked for other politicians and it might work for her.

© 2009 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

1 comment:

Jax said...

I agree with you 90% - I don't think she should drop the charges. The wheels of justice turn the slowest in divorce court, and while I agree that she took on some risk in her personal decision, it wasn't enough to get cold-cocked in the Max's Tavern bathroom. Violence is violence. The attacker needs to pay her price, just as Susan Dawson did, in the minds of some.