Charges of violating a permit related to a concealed pistol license could be imposed on a member of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners.
Second District Commissioner Don Eaton could be charged with a misdemeanor related to an incident that originated July 29 at the Sturgis Applebee’s restaurant.
Eaton, 53, said he retrieved from his vehicle a pistol as a precautionary measure after a trio of members in his party at a late-night gathering was harassed by a group of four men in the restaurant’s bar area.
A Burr Oak Township resident, Eaton said he then decided to leave and went back into the restaurant to retrieve his wallet and phone. As police had arrived in response to a complaint about the situation, Eaton voluntarily took a preliminary breath test, which confirmed his blood-alcohol level was in excess of 0.08 percent.
As a result, Eaton was in violation of being in possession of a firearm while legally intoxicated.
Prosecutor John McDonough said he forwarded the case to the state Attorney General’s office, which will designate a different county prosecutor to review the situation and decide whether charges should be filed.
Eaton was elected to the commission in 2010 and was unopposed in his bid for re-election two years later. Eaton represents Park, Mendon, Leonidas, Colon and Burr Oak townships.