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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Sprague city councilman steps down following domestic violence arrest in July

Aug. 23, 2022 Updated Tue., Aug. 23, 2022 at 9:49 p.m.

A 37-year-old councilman in the Lincoln County city of Sprague resigned last month, six days after his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.

Dustin W. Monen faces two assault counts against his teenage sons, one a felony and one a gross misdemeanor. The victims told a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office sergeant independently that Monen would turn physically violent, striking and pushing them in the home when he became upset.

Monen’s attorney, David Hearrean, said his client was innocent of the charges when reached by phone Tuesday.

“He loves his boys,” Hearrean said.

One 15-year-old victim ran away from Monen’s home on July 22, a night after he said Monen repeatedly punched him. He did so after a co-worker of the teenager reported him making an inappropriate comment at work, according to court records, and that co-worker’s parent had called Monen.

The deputy observed injuries consistent with the 15-year-old’s story and asked about any other instances of violence. The son told the deputy that his brother had fallen and broken an arm after being shoved by Monen. He took the brother to the hospital, but told the teenagers to say that the injury was from slipping in water and falling.

The brother later told the same story to police. Monen’s wife told deputies her husband had taken his son to apologize to the co-worker and grounded him, but that he hadn’t been violent.

Monen was later picked up by police and denied striking the teenagers. He then repeated the story about the water when asked about the broken arm.

Deputies placed the two teens in protective custody and booked Monen on the charges. He has pleaded not guilty, and is scheduled for a hearing Sept. 27 in Lincoln County.

Lexi Behrens, clerk for the city of Sprague, said Monen resigned July 28, six days after the arrest. The town is accepting letters of interest in the position through Sept. 28. Monen ran unopposed for a four-year term on the council in November 2019, a term that will end at the end of 2023. Eligible candidates must have lived in town for a year, Behrens said.

The Sprague City Council will then meet and select the councilmember to fill out Monen’s term.

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