State senator in domestic dispute

Frederick County sheriff's deputies responded to the Mount Airy home of Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley last week to investigate a reported domestic dispute involving his wife, according to the police report released yesterday.

Brinkley, 48, accused his wife of slapping him in the neck and trying to grab his hands, and then using his hands to hit herself in the face, according to Deputy Orion G. Rustin, who responded to the home in the 12000 block of Barnett Drive about 8:20 p.m. May 30.


Brinkley's wife, Sallie Brinkley, accused the two-term senator of hitting her in the face, grabbing her around the neck and biting her on the arm before she ran outside and locked herself in her vehicle, where she stayed until deputies arrived, according to the report. Earlier in the dispute, she had locked herself in an upstairs bedroom, the report says.

Both spouses called 911, according to the report. Rustin reported that he saw no injuries on either of them.


The Republican senator did not return phone calls seeking comment yesterday. He told the Frederick News-Post, which first reported the incident, that his family was "making time to work through this." The Brinkleys have two children.

"We are working on our marriage," he told the paper. "We have been in counseling."

Brinkley, a financial adviser, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1995 and the state Senate in 2003.

"He's not going to resign," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. "Husbands and wives have altercations all the time. I don't know any husbands or wives who haven't had altercations. ... I think things are going to be fine."

Jacqui Nigh, an aide to Brinkley, said yesterday that she is taking a leave of absence from her job. She works in Brinkley's district office, which is in his home, she said.

Sun reporter Laura Smitherman contributed to this article.