Ventura County Supervisor Subdued in Studio City Incident
The chairman of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, Edwin A. Jones, was subdued by police with tear gas and briefly taken into custody in Studio City for investigation of indecent exposure, authorities said Saturday.
Jones, 54, a former Thousand Oaks mayor, was released without being charged after being taken to the North Hollywood police station Wednesday from the Charles Motel on Ventura Boulevard, Sgt. Will Dorion said.
The case has been turned over to the city attorney’s office for review, and police said they expect a decision Monday or Tuesday on whether misdemeanor charges will be filed.
Reached at his home Saturday, Jones denied he had exposed himself.
“I don’t feel I’ve broken any laws,” he said. “I was told that day there were no charges. It seems to me if they wanted to charge me they should have done it then.”
Jones, who is married and has five children, said he went to the motel room with a single woman, but never exposed himself.
“As far as being there, I did wrong. But I broke no law as far as I know,” he said, adding that he would now seek professional counseling to save his marriage .
Jones also said he had been drinking but was not intoxicated at the time.
Witnesses told police that Jones had exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman, Dorion said. Police did not release the woman’s name nor the identity of two other people said to be witnesses.
Jones, however, disputed the police report.
“Perhaps someone saw someone else in a different room,” he said. “I wasn’t in any place to be seen in a state of undress.”
One police officer sprayed Jones with tear gas when “there was some movement that was interpreted as aggressive,” Dorion said.
Jones, a 10-year veteran of the Ventura County board, rejected that account and charged police with overreacting.
He said police were pushing him down on a bed as he tried to stand up and then fired tear gas into his face.
Jones confirmed on Saturday that he had been arrested in 1962 on charges of indecent exposure and subsequently decided to plead guilty to a lesser charge of disturbing the peace.
“That charge was wrong,” said Jones, who was a junior high school teacher in Eagle Rock at the time. He said he had accepted the lesser charge only to put the incident behind him.