Scott Lee Cohen won the Illinois primary for Lt. Governor this week and much to the public’s surprise and the state’s Democrats’ dismay, Mr. Cohen has shall we say a very interesting past.
Scott Lee Cohen -- a pawnbroker who shocked state Democratic leaders Tuesday night by winning the party's nomination for lieutenant governor -- was arrested about four-and-a-half years ago and accused of holding a knife to a former live-in girlfriend's neck, newly obtained court records show.
The misdemeanor charge against Cohen was dropped weeks later when the woman -- who had just been found guilty of prostitution -- failed to show up to testify, according to those records.
This isn't the only piece of information Republicans might try to use against the Democratic gubernatorial ticket, the other half of which was being sorted out as Gov. Quinn and Dan Hynes ran neck-and-neck with ballots still to be counted.
Cohen's Oct. 14, 2005, arrest came five months after his wife filed for divorce and convinced a judge to give her a temporary order of protection, records show. A status hearing in the divorce case took place Wednesday, hours after Cohen's election-night triumph.
Cohen -- who records show also had federal tax troubles that he says he has settled -- denied in a written statement that he ever hurt the ex-girlfriend or his family. Cohen disclosed his domestic violence arrest when he announced his candidacy, but the details about the knife and prostitution case didn't surface in the campaign, as Cohen was considered a longshot.
Cohen, now 44, placed "a knife up to complainant's neck causing minor scars," according to the police report from his arrest. There also were "minor scars on her hand from her trying to defend herself against the arrestee swinging the knife at her." Cohen also allegedly "pushed complainant's head against [a] wall, causing a bump on the back of her head."
Paramedics treated the now 29-year-old woman at Cohen's Near North Side home. Police photographed her injuries, which they described as "mild abrasions from knife wound."
"She never came to court and the charges were dismissed," Cohen said. "I realized this relationship was not healthy for me. I ended it, and we parted amicably."
The day before the ex-girlfriend failed to come to court for Cohen's case, she was sentenced to court supervision in her misdemeanor prostitution case, which Cohen campaign strategist Phil Molfese said did not involve Cohen. The woman could not be reached for comment.
You must be kidding me. Why on earth did this fellow ever put his name on the ballot? Now I am not a total prude. There are things in people’s background that may be embarrassing or a little shocking that should not disqualify them from running for office. I could easily dismiss things like a bankruptcy in the distant pass, or a divorce, or a minor childhood offence, but stuff like this simply cannot slide. It will be interesting to see what the people of Illinois have to say about all of this. We know the Democrats must be sweating bullets.
Via: Chicago Sun-Times