School board seeks Chowdhury’s resignation in wake of guilty plea

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By AJ Vicens

Jeffco school board member and state House candidate Vince Chowdhury should resign his board position after pleading guilty to a charge stemming from accusations that he choked and slapped his 16-year-old daughter, the school board said July 8.

Chowdhury, 48, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault July 8 in Jefferson County Court. A harassment charge and a charge for violating a protective order were dismissed. Chowdhury was given a supervised, one-year deferred sentence and ordered to complete anger management and parenting classes. If he completes the classes and stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed in one year.

Chowdhury, South Jeffco’s representative on the school board and a Democratic candidate for House District 22, was arrested June 17 on suspicion of slapping and choking his daughter. A protective order was issued prohibiting him from contacting his daughter or wife — an order he apparently violated by sending his wife two e-mails after being released from jail.

“The Jefferson County Board of Education is asking that board member Vince Chowdhury resign his position on the board in the wake of his guilty plea for third-degree assault,” said district spokeswoman Lynn Setzer. “The board met in special session ee and unanimously asked for Chowdhury’s resignation.”

Setzer said that board member and former Jeffco district attorney Dave Thomas abstained from voting since he represented Chowdhury during court proceedings.

“In taking the action, board members said while they were saddened, they felt they needed to act in the best interest of the district and its students,” Setzer said.

The school board cannot legally remove Chowdhury from office; it could only pass a resolution offering an opinion.

Chowdhury couldn’t be reached for comment the evening of July 8.

An arrest affidavit gives the following account of the incident June 17: Chowdhury came home and was honking his horn in the driveway so his wife or daughter would open the garage door. His wife, Katherine, opened the garage, and said he came inside very upset. She and their daughter apologized, but Chowdhury allegedly started slapping his daughter. She told deputies that as she was backing away from him, he allegedly started to choke her, so she bit his hand. When her mother intervened, she ran upstairs and locked herself in a room.

Chowdhury told deputies he “lost it” when his wife and daughter didn’t hear him honking the horn, and he admitted to slapping his daughter. He denied choking her and said the bite mark on his hand was from when he was slapping her.

Chowdhury bonded out of jail and reportedly sent his wife two e-mails June 18, violating the protection order. His wife reported the contact to police, and Chowdhury was issued a summons for violating a protective order and taken back to jail. He bonded out again a short time later.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.