Belmont official faces pair of charges

Belmont Vice Mayor Bill Dickenson, arrested in May for an alleged sexual assault, faces up to a year in jail after being charged with two misdemeanors Monday in a separate incident.

The charges against Dickenson, 41, are related to an alleged domestic-violence incident at a Redwood City pub on July 11. Police said Dickenson grabbed his ex-girlfriend’s purse, swung her to the ground and told her she could not leave.

Dickenson, who has been on the Belmont City Council since November 2005, is charged with misdemeanor battery and false imprisonment, supervising deputy District Attorney Elaine Tipton said.

The charges carry a maximum of one year in county jail, a possible fine and as much as three years probation, Tipton said. She declined to comment on how Dickenson’s May 1 arrest in San Francisco for an alleged sexual assault affected the decision to charge him.

Dickenson declined to comment Monday but professed his innocence in previous interviews. He claimed the woman in the altercation actually hit him with her purse and spilled her alcoholic beverage on him.

Dave Warden, who swore-in Dickenson to the council and appointed him to the Planning Commission in 2003, said the vice mayor needs to do some soul-searching about his future on the Belmont council.

“I think it would be very difficult to be able to serve on the City Council,” said Warden, a council member from 1999-2007 and mayor in 2002 and 2005. “I think he’s got enough distractions in his life right now.”

Dickenson’s current council colleagues have thus far declined to comment.

In addition to the two incidents this year, Dickenson pleaded no contest in August 2002 to driving under the influence in Redwood City, authorities said. He paid a $1,131 fine, police said.

Dickenson also pleaded no contest in February 1991 to driving with a revoked or suspended license and was sentenced to 18 months probation. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to pay the $796 fine, San Mateo County court records show.

Dickenson will be arraigned Wednesday at 9 a.m. in San Mateo County Superior Court.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

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