State Representative David Hawk, accused over the weekend of assaulting his wife, maintains he is innocent of domestic assault charges.
Hawk was charged in Greene County on Sunday morning with domestic assault. The custom in the state House of Representatives requires a committee chairman to step down from his post if he faces criminal charges.
Hawk says he doesn’t plan to give up his chairmanship of the House Conservation Committee.
“I have no intentions to do….well. We’ll have, we’ll have conversations with leadership about that.”
Hawk’s wife told authorities that he assaulted her. The police report says she was bruised.
The 43-year-old Hawk says that his wife aimed a gun at him Sunday morning and threatened to shoot him in the head.
Hawk says his hearing is set for May 21st.
The Greenville Republican, unaccompanied by any lawyer, spoke extensively to reporters about the charges and his situation.
“I’d like to make an initial statement. I’m innocent, and did not do what has been alleged against me. I did not harm my wife. The brief story I can give about the occurrences over the weekend are that [Sunday morning] my wife had a gun and told me she was going to put a bullet in my head while I was holding my baby. At that time I escaped to safety with my baby.”
Reporters continued to ply him with questions. Hawk continued to talk.
Reporter: “Did you strike her?”
2nd Reporter: “Where did she get the bruises then, that were described by the police?”
Hawk: “I have no idea.”
Authorities say the wife accused Hawk of going through her cell phone calls and that he lost his temper over one entry. Hawk admitted he looked at her phone.
“There was a call or something that popped up, and my wife had gone to sleep, and I looked at it, and there was an upsetting text message there, yes…..
“There will be a hearing, I think it’s May 21st, the afternoon of May 21st., and we will vigorously defend against these allegations.”
Reporter: “Do you have a lawyer?”
Hawk: “Working with a couple different lawyers at this time, not exactly sure who I will retain. “
Hawk’s wife is the chair of the County Republican Party.
Gov. Bill Haslam has made increased penalties for repeat domestic assault a priority for the year. But he steered clear of commenting on the representative’s situation Monday.