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Davis' bounced check is ruled a civil matter

The Buffalo lawmaker accused of bouncing a large check will not face criminal charges, police officials announced Tuesday.

Investigators have determined that the dispute involving Ellicott Council Member Brian C. Davis is a civil matter, said Police Department spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.

Davis, 39, returned to work Tuesday after a two-week medical leave. But he is remaining mum on the check-writing controversy.

"I'm not at liberty to talk about it at this point," Davis told The Buffalo News. "But I expect a resolution on the matter soon -- very soon."

At issue is a check for $3,595 that Davis allegedly gave the owner of a Delaware Avenue building to cover rent at One Sunset, a restaurant/nightclub.

A man said he previously lent Davis $5,000 so he could pay the rent. Wade Hawkins is a musician whose band played in the club, and he said Davis was serving as an informal manager of the business. Hawkins complained earlier this month that Davis never repaid the loan.

One Sunset is owned by Leonard Stokes, a former basketball star who spent a brief time in the NBA. The business closed in December. A corporation owned by businessman Kevin Brinkworth owns the building at 1389 Delaware Ave., just south of West Delavan Avenue.

"After a thorough investigation, and after conferring with the [district attorney's] office, Buffalo police have determined it is not a criminal matter," said DeGeorge.

He said the check was post-dated, which technically made it a promissory note. He said there's a legal provision that would pre-empt criminal prosecution in this type of case.

Brinkworth declined to comment.

Davis declined to discuss reports published in ArtVoice that other store owners on the Lower West Side and East Side have had problems with some of the lawmakers' checks. Davis' only response was that the allegations were spread by a "political opponent."

e-mail: bmeyer@buffnews.com

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