Published Fri, Feb 24, 2012 6:38 pm Dateline
Athens County Commissioner Mark Sullivan has been found not guilty of domestic violence.
The verdict was delivered by a judge after a trial this afternoon in Athens County Municipal Court.
Sullivan had been charged with hitting his adult niece with his head in Nelsonville during an argument in January.
Testimony included an officer from the scene, Mark Sullivan's 13-year-old son, the defendant, Samantha Sullivan and her girlfriend, Brooke Harmon.
Witnesses gave accounts that differed greatly.
Some said it was an accident and others that he "head-butted" her.
The judge said he was not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Commissioner Sullivan intentionally or knowingly struck the victim.
Sullivan's acquital comes just days before a primary election in which he is being challenged for re-election by four other Democrats.