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Originally published October 12, 2010 at 5:52 PM | Page modified October 13, 2010 at 11:56 AM

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Lawmaker trying to resolve domestic-violence case out of court

State Rep. Geoff Simpson, D-Covington, who has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, is working toward an out-of-court agreement with the Seattle City Attorney's Office, Simpson and a city official said. Republican challenger Mark Hargrove, a Boeing instructor pilot, narrowly outpolled Simpson in the August primary.

Seattle Times staff reporter

State Rep. Geoff Simpson, who has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, is working toward an out-of-court agreement with the Seattle City Attorney's Office, Simpson and a city official said.

The legal agreement could be finalized in the next week, according to Simpson.

Typically, such an agreement would be a "stipulated order of continuance," said Kimberly Mills, a spokeswoman for the City Attorney's Office. "The case stays open for a period of time. The defendant doesn't admit guilt but has to go through certain things that satisfy the court." If all conditions are met, the case ultimately could be dismissed.

Simpson, D-Covington, has represented the 47th District since 2000 and is running for re-election against Republican Mark Hargrove, a Boeing instructor pilot.

Simpson's former wife, Kathlene Simpson, accused him of domestic-violence assault after a May 22 incident. The legislator allegedly pushed her out of the way as he entered a hospital room in which their 12-year-old daughter was being treated, according to a police report.

Simpson said his daughter would be a witness in his defense and that he'd like to spare her the trauma of a public trial.

The trial, which was scheduled for Tuesday in Seattle Municipal Court, was delayed last week when Simpson's attorney requested a continuance.

If the two sides don't reach an agreement, the new trial date is Nov. 30 — weeks after ballots are due in Washington's mostly vote-by-mail election on Nov. 2.

Hargrove narrowly outpolled Simpson in the primary, but Simpson has a 4-to-1 fundraising advantage.

Sean Collins Walsh: 206-464-3195 or swalsh@seattletimes.com

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