A Pasco School Board candidate has a history of domestic violence, including a guilty plea to domestic violence assault against his current wife.
Stephen Asay Simmons, now 42, hit his wife over an argument about what to feed their children, according to a January 2, 2014, Pasco police report.
He then rounded up all phones in their Pasco house so neither his wife nor their son could call police, the report stated.
The Observer reached out to Simmons for a comment, but he did not respond.
The wife said Simmons let her have a phone 15 to 20 minutes after hitting her. He already had called his parents to tell them that his wife was trying to call police, the report stated.
Telling police that she feared Simmons would stop her if she tried to call, the wife texted a friend, saying Simmons hit her “again” and asked if she could call police for her, the report stated.
Police came to the Simmons home after the friend called 911, according to the police report. The wife told police their son witnessed the abuse, the report stated.
The wife told police Simmons had a history of abusing her, according to the report.
She said that during one incident in 2012, Simmons had “punched” her in the hip, the report stated. He’d slapped her on other occasions, Simmons’ wife told police.
Simmons himself told police he had been arrested for domestic violence against his first wife in Oregon in 2004, according to the report.
Simmons first married in 2002; he divorced in 2005 and married his current wife the same year.
He also told police that he did not mean to hit his current wife, the report stated.
Police arrested Simmons on suspicion of domestic violence assault and interfering with reporting a domestic violence incident. He was booked into the Franklin County jail for the night.
The next day, Simmons pleaded guilty to one charge of domestic violence assault, a gross misdemeanor, according to court records. The Pasco city attorney’s office then dropped the interference charge.
He paid a $750 fine, court records show.
While Simmons’ wife asked for and received a no-contact order against Simmons, she cancelled it about two months later.
Simmons has since had no violent criminal record in Washington, according to court records searches.
Since Simmons is running unopposed for Pasco school director, Position 4, not much has been written about his campaign. He has raised $2,834.54 according to his Washington Public Records Commission (PDC) report. The Franklin County Republican Central Committee contributed $2,000, and another donor gave $50. The rest came from Simmons himself.
“This past year has highlighted the need for elected officials who represent us using facts, ethics, principles, and morals,” Simmons says on his campaign’s website.
“It’s the parents ‘who own the education and moral formation of our children,’” he said on his campaign’s Facebook page, quoting a Fox News report.
If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, there are several places to get help. If you cannot safely call 911, the Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties asks you to call their emergency hotline at 509-582-9841, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.