DETROIT – A member of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's (search) legal team said he'll step down after receiving a citation accusing him of soliciting a prostitute. He denied the charges.
Melvin "Butch" Hollowell (search), 44, was expected to appear in court Tuesday, a week after deputies saw the attorney pick up a woman near his Detroit home, authorities said.
His car was pulled over and impounded, but he was not arrested. He was released after he and the woman were cited, sheriff's department spokesman John Roach told The Detroit News for a Friday story.
In a statement late Thursday, Hollowell called the citation "a gross misunderstanding."
His attorney Gerald Evelyn said the woman had appeared to be in trouble and that Hollowell was driving her to a police station.
"The officers indicated that the woman was a known prostitute," Hollowell said. "No one was more surprised and embarrassed than me when the officers told me this.
"I am confident that these untrue charges will be dismissed quickly and I will be completely cleared."
The Kerry campaign has declined to comment. "We're still collecting information," said Rodell Mollineau, a Kerry spokesman.
Solicitation of a prostitute is a violation of a city ordinance and a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $500 in fines, Evelyn told the Detroit Free Press.
Hollowell, a longtime fixture in state Democratic politics, is also resigning an unpaid position on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, a post he was appointed to last week by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The Michigan Democratic Party did not return a message seeking comment.