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School board member pleads guilty to assault

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By AJ Vicens

Jeffco school board member and state House candidate Vince Chowdhury pleaded guilty July 8 to a third-degree assault charge stemming from accusations that he slapped and choked his 16-year-old daughter.

A harassment charge and a charge for violating a protective order were dismissed during the proceeding in Jefferson County Court. Chowdhury, 48, was given a supervised, one-year deferred sentence and ordered to complete anger management and parenting classes. If he completes the classes and stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed in one year.

An emergency meeting of the school board was set for 5 p.m. July 8, at which Chowdhury’s actions were to be discussed, board President Scott Benefield said.

The school board cannot legally remove Chowdhury from office; it could only pass a resolution offering an opinion.

Messages left for Chowdhury on July 8 were not immediately returned.  

The protective order barring him from contacting his wife and daughter is still in place at their request, according to the Jeffco district attorney’s office. The judge did modify the order and allow him to e-mail his wife.

Chowdhury, South Jeffco’s representative on the school board and a Democratic candidate for state House District 22, was arrested June 17 on suspicion of slapping and choking his daughter.

Chowdhury was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and harassment, and a protective order was issued prohibiting him from contacting his daughter or wife. He apparently then violated that order by sending his wife two e-mails after being released from jail.

An arrest affidavit gives the following account of the incident June 17: Chowdhury came home and was honking his horn in the driveway so his wife or daughter would open the garage door. His wife, Katherine, opened the garage, and said he came inside very upset. She and their daughter apologized, but Chowdhury allegedly started slapping his daughter. She told deputies that as she was backing away from him, he allegedly started to choke her, so she bit his hand. When her mother intervened, she ran upstairs and locked herself in a room.

Chowdhury told deputies he “lost it” when his wife and daughter didn’t hear him honking the horn, and he admitted to slapping his daughter. He denied choking her and said the bite mark on his hand was from when he was slapping her.

Chowdhury bonded out of jail and reportedly sent his wife two e-mails June 18, violating the protection order. His wife reported the contact to police, and Chowdhury was issued a summons for violating a protective order and taken back to jail. He bonded out again a short time later.

 “It is a very personal and family matter,” Chowdhury said July 2. “I have served this community for 15 years and will continue to serve this community, and this has nothing to do with that service.”

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.