A Moffat County commissioner was charged Monday in Moffat County Court with three misdemeanors stemming from a vehicular incident July 12.
Tom Mathers, 60, was charged with assault in the third degree, a Class 1 misdemeanor; careless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense; and failure to report an accident, a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.
On July 20, Mike Breen, of Craig, a former cook at Mathers bar and grill, filed a report with the Craig Police Department, alleging that Mathers struck him with his vehicle outside Mathers’ establishment days earlier, on July 12, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Breen told Police Officer Bryan Gonzales he had been sitting on a bench outside the bar smoking a cigarette between noon and 1 p.m.
According to the affidavit, Mathers pulled his truck into the parking lot and pinched Breen’s leg between the truck and the bench.
Mathers said he ended up pinching Breen’s leg by accident, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, Breen, who was employed by Mathers at the time of the accident, said he suffered injuries that caused him to visit medical professionals, miss several days of work and suffer pain.
The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office turned the case over to a special prosecutor from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Summit County because of a potential conflict of interest.
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Mark D. Hurlbert, who is listed on Mathers’ charging documents, was previously a district attorney in Eagle County where he prosecuted a sexual assault case against NBA star Kobe Bryant.
On Dec. 6, the Police Department received a report from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, recommending charges be filed against Mathers.
A warrant was issued Monday, and Mathers turned himself in to the Moffat County Jail at about 1:30 p.m.
He was released the same day on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.
A court date had not been scheduled as of Monday afternoon, according to court records.
When reached by phone Monday afternoon, Mathers said his attorney advised him not to make any public statements regarding the case.
Mathers was elected to the Moffat County Commission in November 2006. He is up for re-election in November 2010.
Moffat County election officials said it is unlikely any potential misdemeanor convictions stemming from the charges would affect Mathers’ eligibility to run for re-election, or hold public office.
Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or firstname.lastname@example.org.