Jeff Freeman has been in question-answering mode this week, and not just because the primary election is now less than three weeks away.
Freeman was charged in Burlington this past weekend with transporting an open container of alcohol. This followed an incident in Virginia last year where online court records show Freeman was sentenced to a six month suspended sentence and 12 months probation after a conviction on misdemeanor disorderly conduct and charges of assaulting a firefighter and tampering with a vehicle.
In a special sit-down interview with KVOE News, Freeman said he doesn't anticipate the incident in Burlington affecting his legal situation in Virginia, although he plans to check with an attorney for clarity. He says the Virginia incident was a "misunderstanding" and that charges were dropped. With the Coffey County and Virginia incidents coming to light recently and a separate incident in Lyon County back in 1990, Freeman said he understands questions about his judgment and whether there is a pattern of poor behavior.
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Freeman who was also arrested for speeding, impersonating an officer and deciding against taking a breathalyzer test in 1990.
Freeman has an Aug. 14 appearance in Burlington Municipal Court on the open container charge. Burlington Police Chief Doug Jones has said Freeman was pulled over for several traffic infractions with the container inside a truck Freeman was borrowing from a cousin. Freeman has said the container was an empty styrofoam cup.
Freeman served in the House from 1984 to 1991 and is running against incumbent Peggy Mast in the primary. Freeman admits the legal issues have taken him off message, and he's going door to door across the 76th District to offer his views on promoting job creation initiatives like Rural Opportunity Zones, restoring due process for teachers, settling education funding and lining up water for the future among other issues.
Freeman and Mast have agreed to be on KVOE's Candidate Forum on July 31. The Republican primary winner faces Democrat Teresa Briggs and independent Bill Otto, both former Republicans, in the general election Nov. 4.