The Mariners earlier today issued a statement put out by the lawyer for Milton Bradley. At first glance, the statement seems to suggest that Bradley has been cleared of all charges steeming from his arrest on a threats charge last month and that police and prosecutors could find no basis for pursuing a criminal complaint against him.
“The allegations against Milton Bradley were thoroughly investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office,” Harland Braun, the lawyer for Bradley, said in the statement. “Both agencies determined there was no basis to file charges and no charges were filed.”
But that’s not quite what the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is saying.
“That’s a very optimistic way of interpreting it,” said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the office.
Mateljan added that Bradley hasn’t been cleared of anything and that the office he works for reserves the right to file criminal charges up to a year after a complaint is first lodged with police. In cases involving domestic disputes, the city attorney’s office can elect to have both parties attempt to resolve their issues outside of the criminal court system if there appears a willingness to do so.
Here’s an example of one celebrity case back in 2006, where actor Lou Diamond Phillips was arrested in a domestic dispute and sent to the City Attorney Hearing Program to try to resolve the case without going to court.
As we reported three days ago, Bradley has a private hearing scheduled with his wife, Monique, at the city attorney’s office on March 9. After that is done, as long as authorities are satisfied Bradley and his wife can work together to overcome any issues, the plan is to allow them to do so in lieu of arraigning Bradley on a criminal threats charge. Remember, the arraignment was to be held last Tuesday, but was put off and the hearing scheduled instead.
For now, Mateljan said, the plan is to go the private hearing route rather than proceed with the criminal case as long as authorities are satisfied Bradley and his wife can resolve their differences with no further trouble. That could change, he added, if “new information” was to be put forth — either at the meeting or in the year ahead — that would lead authorities to believe Bradley and his wife can’t resolve their issues peacefully.
What would the “new information” have to be? Anything from an unexpected blow-up at next month’s meeting to any further issues similar to what landed Bradley in jail in the first place. As for there being “no basis” for the complaint against Bradley, Mateljan said that’s “a rosy way to look at things” and not quite what’s going on.
Indeed, this isn’t the same as the case being dropped altogether and Bradley getting a clean slate. If there was to be a similar episode down the road, Mateljan says Bradley could still have charges brought against him stemming from the incident that led to his arrest last month.
Bradley’s lawyer correctly stated that these private meetings are a tool often used by the city attorney’s office to deal with domestic disputes without involving the courts and “to make sure that this type of misunderstanding does not occur again.”
His lawyer added that: “Milton and his wife and children all reside together as a family and request that the media respect their wish that the matter remain personal and private. In fact, I have instructed my client not to discuss his relationship with his wife except at the private conference with the city attorney and with a marital counselor.”
February 11, 2011 at 6:21 PM