A Discovery Bay elected official is out of jail but looking at a possible felony charge after a domestic disturbance at his home Saturday, police said.

Contra Costa Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Brian Dawson, 31, on suspicion of spousal battery, a misdemeanor, and damaging a phone line, which can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or felony, sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

Dawson is vice president of the town's Community Services District board.

Deputies were called to Dawson's house in the 2000 block of Sand Point Road about 4:45 p.m. Saturday after reports of yelling and fighting in the home, Lee said. The investigation showed clues that the argument had turned physical, Lee said. The victim was not taken to a hospital.

Dawson also ripped a phone line out of the wall during the argument. He was taken to County Jail in Martinez and released Sunday on $20,000 bail. Lee said the case will be handed over to prosecutors in the next few days.

Dawson declined Thursday to comment specifically on his arrest.

"Due to the incredibly personal nature of this issue, my family and I request that you respect our privacy as we begin to work through it together," he said in an email.

News of Dawson's arrest spread Thursday among Discovery Bay officials.

"We have to presume that he is innocent until proven guilty," said Kevin Graves, president of the services district board. "Spousal abuse is one of the most horrific crimes we have, and there is no excuse for that."


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Graves said that while he works with Dawson on a professional level, the two are not friends and he does not know much about his personal life. The board will not take action based on the arrest immediately.

"We don't have the facts in front of us," Graves said. "I'm sure there will be conversation with our legal counsel."

The board's next scheduled meeting is Wednesday.

Dawson was appointed to fill a vacancy on the services district board in December 2009 and elected to a four-year term in November.

Discovery Bay Manager Rick Howard, who like Graves first heard of the arrest from a story on a Bay Area News Group website, said he did not immediately know whether the board would take any action or ask Dawson to resign.

"That's a decision that only he can make," Howard said. "I have spoken to him, and he is assessing his options."

Rick Hurd covers crime. Contact him at 925-945-4780. Follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH. Contact Roman Gokhman at 925-779-7189. Follow him at Twitter.com/RomiTheWriter.