Brighton councilman Kris Jordinelli resigns, faces DUI charge

Steve Smith
Posted 11/30/21

Brighton Councilman Kris Jordinelli faces a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence after an incident with Brighton police before Thanksgiving.


His first court appearance -- a …

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Brighton councilman Kris Jordinelli resigns, faces DUI charge

Brighton Councilman Kris Jordinelli, who faces a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence after an incident with Brighton police this summer, resigned from his council position Dec. 3.
A city statement said the remaining council members will take the next steps to fill the vacancy at a future meeting. Jordinelli was elected in 2020.
His first court appearance -- a pretrial conference, according to district attorney spokesman Chris Hopper -- is set for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7.
A police report said officers saw Jordinelli's unoccupied car at City Hall Aug. 17 and watched the councilor enter the building.
"Cmdr. (Matt) Domenico) greeted Kris and saw Kris was very intoxicated,"  Daniel Barkus' report said.
Officers went to Jordinelli's home, which is a few blocks from City Hall.
"Kris then opened the main door and then the storm door," the report said. "Kris was slow moving, and when he spoke, he had slurred speech. Kris had red watery eyes and was unsteady on his feet while standing at the door. Kris was shifting back and fourth out of the doorway and told me, 'You have no right to bhe here.'"
Barkus explained why officers were at the councilor's home. Jordinellis' answer was, "I'm fine and they wlked me home." Barkus asked about Jordinelli's car, which was still at City Hall with the windows rolled down and unlocked.
"Kris opened the storm door and leaned out to try and look at his garage," Backus' report said. "Kris then leaned back into his house and continued to fumble with the keys or garage door opener. I asked Kris if he wanted to come outside and look, but he stayed standing in the doorway."
The garage door closed.
"Kris said to me, 'Do you know who I am"' Backus' report said. "I replied, 'Yeah, I know who you are,' Kris replied, "I'm a city council member.' I then replied, 'Yeah, I know.' Kris then said, 'You don't want to mess with me' and shut the main door."
Mayor Pro Tem Matt Johnston told police Jordinelli looked "disoriented" just before the Aug. 17 meeting started. but also said, "I was close to him and didn't smell alcohol.'"
Johnston told police, "... because of previous incidents, so I was nervous about him entering into the City Hall chamber."
"I decided to go out (into the hall) and talk to him and say, 'What's going on?' The conversation I got back was incoherent," the report said. "It all looked beyond suspicious, but it also looked as if there was some kind of issue happening with councilor Jordinelli."
Johnston eventually caught up with now-Deputy Chief Matt Domenico.
"Dominico (sic) was present most of this time," Johnston told police. "When he was, I said, 'There's no protection going on here with whatever's happening here. You act as you want.' I didn't want him in the chamnbers,. The council would not want him in the chambers in case there was a previous incident that had occurred in the past."
Johnston told Sgt. Richard Stolte about a conversation he had with former City Manager Jane Bais DiSessa and Michael Martinez, the then-acting city manager.
"The obvious thought that he was under the influence of something by me," Johnston said in the report. "I'll be very clear. I just never, I never smelled (alcohol). I don't have proof it it, but I have to say the entire situation was -- what was in my mind was there was an inebriated council member there. I don't have any proof or anything. That's the way it looked and felt. But I don't have the ability to say if there was anything like that."
Council appointed a special prosecutor, Geoff Wilson, to determine whether Jordinelli violated any municipal laws or ethical standards "such that prosecution is warranted."
Local media said Jordinelli blamed the incident on a medical issue. Police reports indicate Jordinelli was released on a summons.
In 2020, council censured Jordinelli for comments he made about his experience growing up on a farm and witnessing animals eating each other. Reporter Ryan Dunn said, "The rant was largely incoherent and off-topic, .and Jordinelli admitted to drinking 'a couple of beers' prior to the meeting."

The censure resolution stated that the “council finds the conduct, condition and actions of councilmember Jordinelli .. to be inconsistent with the values and ideals of the Brighton city council or the city of Brighton.”

Jordinelli apologized to council after the censure vote. He called his actions "foolish."

“The last thing I want to make this council look is foolish,” said Jordinelli in Sesptember 2020. “This council is awesome. a group of great people — intelligent. So, I thank everyone for your support, and I will make you proud, as I have in the past.”

Kris Jordinelli, Brighton City Council, misdemeanor DUI, censure


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