Dana Ferguson confirms domestic violence arrest
ALPENA — The Demcratic nominee for the 1st Congressional District seat was arrested and charged with domestic violence against his ex-wife in May 2011 in Negaunee, The News has confirmed.
Police records obtained by the site West Michigan Politics show Democrat Dana Ferguson was also on probation for 12 months after an aggravated stalking charge in 2006. Ferguson confirmed the arrest to The News today.
He said the domestic violence charges were dropped and he was never prosecuted.
Ferguson said he, his ex-wife, and their young child had just moved back to Negaunee and had serious financial struggles, which caused stress levels to run high.
The incident occurred while they were at Ferguson’s parent’s house, when he tried to remove his son from his wife’s grasp so, Ferguson said, he and his wife could be alone. The mother refused to let the child go and shortly after called 911.
The police report says the wife complained of a sore wrist and forearm, but there were no visible injuries.
Ferguson told The News that, after learning his ex-wife had called the police, he left the house, but returned shortly after to try to rectify the situation.
“I came back to smooth things over and talk to the police,” he said. “I thought everything was fine and they would tell us to take some time apart and let cooler heads prevail, but, after the police had a discussion, they arrested me, much to my surprise.”
Charges “were dropped as soon as we were able to have a seat in front of the judge,” he said. “I shared my concerns on how the officers handled the situation by arresting me and not defusing it, and the judge decided to dismiss it. There was no domestic violence, no prosecution at all.”
Ferguson’s ex-wife, Rebecca Kraemer, told The News she and Ferguson were going through a rough stretch in their marriage. Looking back, she said, she thinks the situation should have been handled differently.
The two have become close over the years since the incident, and she is proud of where he is today, supports him, and hopes voters don’t overreact to news of the arrest.
“Everyone has a past and has skeletons in their closet,” she said. “If you dig deep enough, you’ll find things and people will cast judgment, and that is not always fair. I regretted it right away after I called the police that night, but, once you do, there is no going back. If it happened today, I wouldn’t have called the police.”
Ferguson said he didn’t recall having any stalking charges against him. He did say when he was younger he had a personal protection order issued against him, but it was only in place for a little while before being lifted.
He gave no details on why the PPO was issued and who requested it.
Ferguson is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, in November. He defeated Linda O’Dell in the August primary to earn the Democratic nomination.