The latest developments in the Seth Brigham saga are sad but not exactly shocking. Known as Boulder's most annoying critic, Brigham recently won a court case blocking a permanent restraining order against him -- but he declined to sue the city after suffering what attorney David Lane deemed a breakdown. And now, after announcing he would soon be leaving Colorado, he's been busted not once but twice.
A quick recap: Brigham was served with a restraining order after the city provided workplace-violence expert Dr. John Nicoletti with copies of e-mails accusing Boulder City Councilwoman KC Becker of financial impropriety, as well as information involving verbal jousting, F-bombs and occasional jabs and pushes involving other councilmembers. Brigham responded by contacting attorney Lane, who'd represented him two years earlier after he was arrested for stripping to his boxer shorts at a council meeting -- an incident that led to Boulder paying a $10,000 settlement.
In the end, Judge David Archuleta ruled against the city's efforts to make the temporary restraining order permanent, and earlier this month, Lane sent Boulder a letter giving the city until September 7 at noon to express interest in settling the case or else face a threatened federal lawsuit on freedom of speech and abuse of process grounds.
When Boulder didn't blink, Lane said in an interview for the post linked above, "I told Seth, 'Let's gear it up.' But he said, 'I don't know if I have the strength for this. I want to move. I want to get out of Boulder.'"
When did Brigham suffer what Lane characterized as a breakdown? "Who knows with Seth," Lane replied. "I'm not a doctor, and I didn't ask. But all that drama lasted for a long time, and he was under constant stress and pressure -- and Seth is a fragile guy."
This description might strike some as confirming Nicoletti's conclusion that Brigham's instability could turn violent, but Lane rejected that notion during our conversation with him. "Being fragile and being dangerous are two different things," he said. "Mental illness does not mean you're dangerous, and Seth has no history of violence. He has no history of violence, but he's mentally ill."
Brigham admitted as much in a subsequent e-mail to us. He wrote, "Mental health issues arising from this civil rights case with the City of Boulder have caused me undo stress and I feel the need to leave Boulder and move to Wisconsin," where he planned to stay with a college friend. He planned to depart "sometime in the next couple of months," he noted.
Maybe not now. As reported by the Boulder Daily Camera, Brigham was arrested last Tuesday after a neighbor called to complain that he'd tried to force entry into his apartment. Brigham reportedly told the police he thought the neighbor had been "messing with him," prompting a rash of door kicking, among other things.
After that incident, Brigham was booked and released -- but on Saturday, he was taken into custody again, this time on what the Camera describes as suspicion of indecent exposure and harassment.
No specifics yet on the incident leading to the latest arrest. But after the joy Brigham exhibited at his first Boulder City Council meeting after the restraining order was lifted, when he danced and sang Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" to irritated officials, his tale has produced very few smiles. Here's a larger look at his first mug shot of the week.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Video: Seth Brigham sings, dances at Boulder City Council after restraining order lifted."
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