Jury acquits former Idaho Democratic Party staffer of domestic battery

Tom Hamilton.
Tom Hamilton.

When charged with domestic battery in January, Idaho Democratic Party political director Tom Hamilton pleaded not guilty, resigned his job and waited to present his case to a jury.

On May 10, an Ada County jury acquitted him on all charges. The jury deliberated just half an hour.

Prosecutors had said Hamilton pushed the mother of his child to the ground and knocked her phone out of her hand in an attempt to stop her from calling 911 during a domestic dispute. The incident reportedly took place in front of the couple's 1-year-old child. Police charged Hamilton with two misdemeanors — domestic violence in the presence of a child and intentional destruction of a telecommunication line.

Hamilton told the Statesman he resigned "because this was my issue to deal with and not my employers. I didn't feel it would be fair to introduce this distraction to my workplace when so much important work remains to be done. In activism work, it's common for staffers to step down in these kinds of situations and it seemed the right thing to do.

"... This has been a difficult time for me and my family and I'm glad it's over. I'm grateful to the jury and the judge for providing a fair venue. I'd like to thank the lawyers, clerks, and others involved for their professionalism throughout this process. Lastly, I'm especially thankful to those people that have stood by me during this challenging time."

Cynthia Sewell is the Idaho Statesman's government watchdog reporter. Contact her at (208) 377-6428, or @CynthiaSewell on Twitter.