September 29, 2011
Monterey City Councilman Jeff Haferman pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of misdemeanor battery and faces a three-year informal probation sentence.
Haferman, who was arrested July 31 after his live-in girlfriend went to Monterey police with neck injuries from a dispute with him, previously entered a not guilty plea to misdemeanor counts of battery and intentional infliction of injury on a cohabitant. Those charges carried a one-year jail sentence.
Juliet Peck, Haferman's attorney, says that Haferman wanted to resolve and acknowledge the incident and move on. "He's embarrassed by the incident and glad it's behind him," Peck says.
Deputy District Attorney Terry Spitz says that his office pursued charges despite the fact that the victim initially refused a protective order in early August, and that even a few days ago prosecutor Kathleen O'Shea told him that the victim "was not indicating a real willingness to be involved." Nevertheless, Spitz adds that his office aggressively pursues domestic violence cases where there is sufficient evidence regardless of whether the victim is cooperative.
"We do go to trial on a number of cases where victims are saying it didn't happen," Spitz says. "It's not unusual for victims to recant [their original statements]."
Since Haferman's conviction is a misdemeanor, he will not be barred from continuing to serve on the Monterey City Council.