3 women: Council candidate's past assault, stalking charges dismissed
More than a decade ago, City Council candidate Melvin Grady was charged with two counts of assault and battery and one of stalking— charges that were all dismissed. "These charges were false charges," says the Buford math teacher.
One woman accused Grady of stalking in 2000 and filed a protective order August 27, 2002, that was in effect for two years, according to Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court records. In the same court, he was charged with two counts of assault and battery on another woman, both of which were dismissed September 7, 2001.
A third woman accused Grady of assault in October 2007, according to Charlottesville General District Court records. That charge was dismissed, and Grady previously told the Hook it came from a woman who refused to leave his house. The criminal complaint acknowledges that the woman had been asked to leave and that Grady had called 911. "While leaven he push me and grabed my shirt [sic]," she wrote.
Of the two earlier charges, says Grady, "I was in relationships that went sour. I'm not saying I'm a saint, but I've never put my hands on someone."
He notes that very little proof is required to file charges. "I wouldn't call these women crazy," he says, "but they did use the court system out of emotion, I guess."
The Hook was unable to contact two of the women, and one declined to comment.
Grady, 44, says he's been happily married for 10 months. "These were a longtime past. The charges brought against me were not true and they were dismissed."
"All of us have made mistakes," says his bride and campaign manager, Stephanie Grady. "What we do with that is what's important. Look at people the way they are now. That's how we should view them and how they handle themselves."
Stephanie Grady says her husband's best quality is his transparency. She wants voters to know the Charlottesville native is running to help better the city, and he knows where the gaps are.
"I know the man I married," she says. "I know the man I love. I know the quality of this man. The lesson learned is how we move forward. We can't let our past dictate our future."
Grady's uncle, Charles Barbour, who was Charlottesville mayor from 1974 to 1976, says he was unaware of the assault and stalking charges. "Any candidate who has a record," he says, "it will come up during the campaign. I would get out in front of it and let the public know."
He notes that Grady was cleared and has paid his fines on other driving charges, and that his past record didn't prevent the school system from hiring him. "I don't see why he wouldn't be able to serve on City Council," says Barbour. "I believe everyone deserves a second chance."
"Oh goodness," says Charlottesville Democratic chair Jim Nix upon hearing about the second Dem candidate in the Council race to have past legal woes.
The first was Wes Bellamy, who was arrested days after announcing his run for failure to appear in court, a charge that was dismissed May 16. Bellamy appears to be rebounding and is "very confident," says Nix. "That was painted by him as a series of misunderstandings. I think he's recovered, but it was a rocky start to a campaign."
Nix acknowledges that the latest revelations can't be helpful to a candidate. 'When questions are repeatedly raised, one wonders if where there's smoke, there's fire," says Nix. "But when they're repeatedly dismissed, it makes me wonder if there's some sort of personal conflict."
Grady is the only Democratic City Council candidate with Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court records. He says the events happened so long ago that he didn't even think about them when the Hook asked all candidates in this week's issue about their criminal records. What he remembered was being charged with a third DUI in 2004, in which he says an officer was "harassing" him. "That was totally a false charge," he says, and it was dismissed, but he was convicted for refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
"I'm a very open and honest person," says Grady, who also coaches track. "I don't lie."Read more on: melvin grady