The King County Prosecutor’s Office had not yet made a decision to charge Ken G. Hearing, mayor of North Bend, in the aftermath of his arrest for alleged domestic violence on March 26.
Hearing was booked on suspicion of fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) after allegedly hitting his wife in the leg with a golf club.
King County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West told the Record that Hearing initially called the North Bend police station at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26. According to West’s report, Hearing told police that his wife was intoxicated and was tormenting him.
West said that when deputies arrived, they questioned both parties. In those interviews, they learned about another altercation that happened between Hearing and his wife around 2 a.m. Sunday, March 24. Police were told that Hearing had allegedly struck her that morning with a golf club. According to West, Hearing’s wife had a round, six-inch bruise on her upper leg.
Hearing was arrested and booked into King County Jail at 11:26 p.m. He was released on his personal recognizance the following day.
“If there are any allegations of assault, we are pretty much required by law to take someone to jail,” West said. “This case is an example of that.”
According to the official police report that the Record received this week, Hearing told officers that his wife was lying in bed under a comforter, and he had hit the bed with a golf club while he has looking for a bottle to take it away from her. The officer stated that Hearing said he had not intended to hit her.
There have been no previous domestic violence incidents at the Hearing household, according to the police report.
Hearing issued a statement Thursday, March 28.
“I want to thank the many citizens who have contacted me in support,” he stated. “I believe in the judicial process and I would ask that people allow this process to unfold. I have been grateful to serve the city of North Bend since 2004 and care deeply about our city. I want to assure the citizens that this matter will have no impact on city business.
“I would ask that you respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time,” he added.
Police investigators forwarded their case to the King County prosecutor’s office. There was no recommendation of a specific charge to be pursued, said West.
Fourth-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.