Darryl Glenn is lawyer who is the Republican Party candidate for a United States Senate seat in Colorado in the 2016 election. He is also getting, too late, a lesson in why public servants who try to lie their way out of embarrassing situations usually make things worse, and forfeit the public trust.
Glenn, who was largely unknown when he triumphed in the GOP state caucus, was asked about whether he had ever been arrested, and specifically about a rumored incident in which he attacked his father as a teen but was never charged. In May, Glenn told reporters he had never been interviewed by police for any reason. He said the incident being reported might have involved another man named Darryl Glenn and that he sometimes gets phone calls about that person.
Then this month, Glenn told the Colorado Springs Independent that the rumored incident may have involved his half-brother, Cedric, who was 8 years older than Glenn and died in 1992. Cedric, Glenn said, had a “criminal past.” The candidate pointed that he is an Air Force Academy graduate and that he would not have been accepted as a cadet if he had any kind of police record.
Now a recently uncovered police report and other documents obtained by The Denver Post show that in November, 1983, Colorado Springs police answered a call from a father who said he had been struck in the face by his son, an 18-year-old high school senior named Darryl Glenn. The documents include Glenn’s signature, which matches his signature on other documents.
This is Glenn’s latest explanation, fresh off his Facebook page. I’ll comment on it as we go along…
I have been asked to respond to allegations about a misdemeanor charge from over 32 years ago.
The truth about that night is what I have said all along: I do not remember much about it. I told the truth when I said I have never been arrested. I have never been handcuffed or fingerprinted. I have never appeared in court as a defendant.
That’s not what he said “all along.” He said it didn’t happen, and that the he must have been confused with his brother or someone with his name, not that he didn’t remember “much about it.” Saying he had “never been arrested” was deceit. When the police take you into custody, you’re under arrest, and as a lawyer, he knows that. This makes it clear, at the very start, that Glenn is carefully concocting a cover-story. We know, immediately, that he cannot be believed.
I understand why some people might say, “How can he not remember?” I want to do my best to explain: My parents’ marriage was very violent. This was not the first time my father attacked my mother, and sadly, it was far from the worst time.
I’ll say it: how can he not remember? If this was his only involvement with the police, Glenn would certainly remember it. I would; wouldn’t you? Instead of admitting that, he uses the claim of amnesia to slide into a sympathy orgy.
When you grow up in a violent home, the fights, the shouting, the pain all blur together. To survive, you block as much of it out of your head as you can in the moment. You try to forget it going forward. What happened that night was just another in a long series of violent incidents between my parents. In that sense, it was not really memorable.
Except that out of all those “violent incidents,” it was the only one that got him arrested! Other than that, nothing special…
Here’s what I do know about the night of November 20,1983: My father hit my mother, and I got between them to try and protect her. The police were called. He claimed to the police that I hit him. I do not believe I ever hit him. My mother swears I did not hit him either, but it wouldn’t have been beyond him at the time to claim I did. I do not remember ever talking to a police officer. I do not remember signing anything for the police.
This sounds pretty memorable to me. A similar episode in Bill Clinton’s life has been cited as one that was central to his character.
Trying all these years later to piece together what we learned this week, I think it’s likely that the police showed up and took everyone’s information. I think my dad initially wanted to press charges that night and a report was filed. I know that a few weeks later my mother and I were called into a meeting in a Judge’s chambers. He asked us a few questions and then sent us home. That’s the last thing we definitively know.
He still remembering an awful lot of the episode for someone who repeatedly told the press that it never occurred.
I only have these details now because of what my mother told me this past week. In fact, this was the very first time we’d spoken about that evening in the 32 years since it happened. It’s probably hard to understand this unless you grew up in the kind of environment that I did.
Again, the pity card.
This was a very hard period for my dad and I. We barely spoke in the years that followed. With that said, I am deeply grateful that towards the end of his life we were able to reconcile.
Wait—the incident was the reason for a long estrangement, but Glenn forgot about it?
32 years later, when a reporter asked me if I had ever been arrested, I said no because I honestly did not remember this event–to this day, I don’t even remember ever being questioned by police. When I expressed a belief that I had never been arrested, I was being honest.
Suddenly, once he couldn’t deny it any more, everything started coming back to him! Who can believe this?
I did not plan to talk about the violence I grew up with in this campaign. I did not want to put my mother through reliving the agony of this period in our lives, and honestly, I did not want to have to relive it myself. I do not like thinking about this time in our lives. I do not like talking about it.
Brilliant. “I do not plan to talk about my tragic and abusive childhood during my campaign so people will see me as someone rose above abuse and was only arrested trying to protect my terrorized mother. I’m not going to exploit her or use my personal tragedy to attract sympathy. I just won’t do it.”
Over the last day or so, Mom and I both have shed a lot of tears talking about that night, trying to make sense of what happened. I wish I had done more to protect her. She wishes she had done more to protect me.
This is really heartwarming. Tell, me, Darryl, did she tell you about that forgettable incident so you could both weep over it, or did you tell her?
I want to use this moment to remind Colorado that our story is not unique. In Colorado, more than 17,000 people are victims of domestic violence every year. We have to do so much better. We have to stop the cycle of violence affecting so many of our communities. We have to love each other.
Suddenly, this is an ad about domestic violence. What were we talking about again?
These are painful memories for me, but I am blessed. I got free of the violence. My dad and I were able to rebuild our relationship before he passed away. As a kid, there was not much I could do to stop the violence in our home. As an adult, I did everything I could to raise my children with a father that loved them, protected them and made them feel safe.
In fact, this whole episode is a triumph! I’m proud of it! I rose above it! Funny that I forgot all about the whole thing.
In our family, we’ve stopped the cycle of violence. I pray the same for other Colorado families confronting abuse in the home. They need to know that they are not alone, that they do not need to be ashamed, and that there is help for them.
I have to hand it to Darryl. This is right up there with the Checkers speech.
Anyone who votes for this guy after this screamingly obvious cover-story is too trusting and gullible to be left alone without a keeper.
A couple more points…
- Am I too cynical in not believing Glenn? It’s true that seeing too many similar examples of politicians trying to spin their way out of lies creates bias. There are too many elements in this one, though, to give the politician the benefit of the doubt. “It never happened…it must have been my brother…I would never have been admitted to the academy if I did anything like that…I wasn’t technically arrested…I had forgotten about the whole thing…Now that you mention it, it was a terrible personal trauma.”
- When a candidate reveals a tendency to cover up and lie before he has even been elected, it is madness to give him or her a chance to do more lying and engage in more cover ups more in office. Just imagine if someone running for President was proven to have lied for months about…oh. Right.
- Although the legal ethics rules prohibit lawyers from engaging in dishonesty, misrepresentation and deceit, no lawyer has ever faced professional discipline for deceptive statements and lies made as part of a political campaign. Nevertheless, this episode convinces me that Glenn is untrustworthy as a lawyer as well as a candidate for the Senate.
Pointer: Tim Levier