St. Louis Public Radio News
11:19 am
Fri September 10, 2010

Prosecutor won't charge Nieves

Jefferson City, Mo. – Criminal charges will not be filed against Brian Nieves (R, Washingon, Mo.), a Missouri House Member and State Senate candidate accused of assaulting a staff member of a former political rival.

Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks says after examining the police report in the case, he found no evidence to support filing any criminal charges against Nieves.

Scott Bell of Jefferson City worked for Dick Stratman, a candidate who lost to Nieves in the August 3rd Republican primary. Bell accuses Nieves of slapping him, pulling out a gun and threatening to kill him the day after the primary.

Michael Byrne is Bell's attorney.

"I'm concerned for Mr. Bell," Byrne said. "Given what Mr. Nieves has already done, we are concerned for Mr. Bell's safety, which is why we're pursuing a protective order."

A hearing for a restraining order has twice been postponed. It's currently scheduled for September 20th in Cole County Circuit Court. Byrne says his client may also file a civil lawsuit.

Nieves denies the allegations, and his attorney says he's pleased that Parks won't pursue criminal charges.

Nieves is the Republican nominee for Missouri Senate District 26, which covers Franklin and Warren counties, and part of St. Louis County.

Nieves was involved in an altercation two years ago on the floor of the Missouri House with Kansas City Democrat Trent Skaggs. The two got into a heated argument during a debate, during which Skaggs tapped Nieves on the cheek twice with an open hand. Staff members and fellow lawmakers then had to separate the two.