AMHERST TWP. — Lorain County Engineer Ken Carney was arrested on a domestic violence charge Friday after allegedly assaulting his live-in girlfriend during a drunken argument.
Lorain County sheriff’s deputies were called to Carney’s Quail Hollow Court home about 9:30 p.m. by a neighbor, who reported hearing screaming coming from the house.
Deputy Zara Hudson wrote that when he and other deputies arrived, the house was quiet, but he saw an intoxicated Carney running from the kitchen to the front door with car keys in his hand.
Carney, 65, told deputies that he had been arguing with his girlfriend, 62-year-old Colleen Donnelly, earlier in the evening and that she was in the master bedroom.
Hudson wrote that Donnelly told him the couple began arguing about 8:30 p.m. over something “petty” and that the confrontation turned physical.
“Ms. Donnelly stated that Mr. Carney began to poke her in the chest. She further advised that Mr. Carney then pushed her against the wall and screamed at her,” Hudson wrote. “She also advised that during the above altercation, she picked up the house phone to call 911 and Mr. Carney grabbed the phone from her and made a motion that he was going to hit her with it.”
Donnelly said similar instances of physical violence have occurred in the past, including altercations that have left her with bruises and abrasions, according to the report. Donnelly, who acknowledged having two glasses of wine Friday, said it “happens almost everytime (sic) that Mr. Carney consumes alcohol.”
Hudson wrote that when he asked Donnelly why she had never contacted deputies in the past, she replied “that she is afraid that nothing will happen to Mr. Carney or no one will believe her because of his title.”
Although deputies didn’t see any sign of injuries on Donnelly on Friday, she told them she wanted to file charges against Carney.
After Carney was arrested, he denied wrongdoing.
“Mr. Carney only advised that the above altercation never occurred and that Ms. Donnelly was making it up,” Hudson wrote.
This isn’t Carney’s first brush with the law or allegations of domestic violence.
He was charged with domestic violence in 2000 for striking his then-girlfriend with a bag of cheeseburgers and his fist, but the charge was reduced to attempted assault as part of a plea deal.
Carney was arrested again in 2001 for a drunken driving incident and was convicted of DUI and disorderly conduct, according to Oberlin Municipal Court records. He also was arrested in 2003 for disorderly conduct and pleaded no contest in that case.
In 2006, Carney was arrested on another DUI charge in Cleveland following a brief police chase and car crash. He pleaded out in that case as well and was sentenced to 14 days in jail with work release privileges.
Since then, Carney, who has been county engineer since 1989, has said he had gotten sober and was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but Hudson wrote that it was obvious Carney had been drinking Friday.
“It was apparent that he had been consuming an unknown alcoholic beverage,” the report said. “His eyes were bloodshot and glassy. He had a hard time speaking and formulating sentences. There was also a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.”
Carney remained in the Lorain County Jail on Saturday, according to jail records. He is due in court Tuesday.