‘You don’t want to mess with me’: Brighton councilor charged with DUI

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BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A Brighton city councilor is accused of driving drunk to a council meeting then shutting his front door on an investigating officer, saying “you don’t want to mess with me.”

Kris Jordinelli, 64, faces a count of misdemeanor driving under the influence in the Aug. 17 incident, when multiple people reported that the councilor showed up to city hall intoxicated.

Jordinelli claimed in a statement to FOX31 that the incident was medical in nature.

On Tuesday, Brighton City Council unanimously voted to appoint a special counsel to investigate Jordinelli’s behavior as a potential abuse of power. The vote was 8-0, with Jordinelli being absent from the vote.

What the police report says

According to a police report obtained by FOX31, multiple people took notice of Jordinelli’s condition that day at city hall.

In a statement to police, Mayor Pro Tem Matt Johnston said Jordinelli looked “disoriented” and appeared “inebriated,” although he said he did not smell alcohol on him.

An officer noticed Jordinelli walk into city hall “disheveled” and with “an unsteady gait.” The officer smelled alcohol on the councilor’s breath and noticed his speech was slurred and his eyes were “bloodshot and watery,” and he appeared “confused.”

The officer told two assistant city managers, who walked Jordinelli out of the building. They then walked him to his nearby home after he tried to get in a car that was not his own.

An officer responded to the incident at city hall and noticed Jordinelli’s white 2007 Buick LaCrosse was parked at an angle and taking up two parking spaces. City hall surveillance video captured the councilor driving into the lot and parking.

The officer went to Jordinelli’s nearby home and found him with “slurred speech,” and he had “red watery eyes and was unsteady on his feet while standing at the door,” according to the report. He was shifting in the doorway and told the officer, “You have no right to be here.”

The officer asked him how much he had to drink, “and Kris did not reply.”

According to the report, Jordinelli said, “Do you know who I am?” The officer said he did. Jordinelli then identified himself as a council member, said, “You don’t want to mess with me” and shut the door and locked it.

Jordinelli was booked and released on misdemeanor DUI on Oct. 14, according to the report.

Jordinelli responds

Jordinelli released this statement to FOX31:

This case arises out of my suffering a serious medical event prior to a meeting and one of my political opponents trying to use that event now, several months after it occurred, to try and oust me from office. I am sad to see how low others have gone to try and get rid of me just because we may not agree on political issues. That is all I can say about the case at this time. I look forward to being vindicated of this baseless charge in court.

The current accusation against Jordinelli comes a year after he apologized and admitted to being under the influence of alcohol and medication during a virtual council meeting.

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