City Council candidate arrested, charged with vandalism, arson

Ashleigh Goodwin /
Kevin Brunner

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A candidate for city council was arrested this weekend for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and destroying items inside, authorities said.

South Lake Tahoe Police said Kevin Brunner, 30, of South Lake Tahoe, saw his ex-girlfriend talking to another man at an area casino. 

The department added that when Brunner’s ex-girlfriend got home on the 1100 block of 3rd Street, she found a broken window, her apartment destroyed and Brunner inside.

Brunner was booked into jail at approximately 7:42 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, for felony vandalism and arson and misdemeanor trespassing. 

Brunner accepted an interview with the Tribune from the El Dorado County Jail Tuesday morning prior to appearing in court. During the interview Brunner disagreed with all charges and felony bail enhancement and maintained his innocence.

Brunner told the Tribune he is a security guard at Hard Rock Lake Tahoe and that he had been living with his girlfriend and didn’t burn anything.

“I think this is absurd,” he said.

Brunner claims the situation was misconstrued by law enforcement. His account of the events preceding his arrest involved throwing items out the door to chase off a bear who was attempting to break into the home. During this time Brunner claims he fell through the window and became concussed.

Brunner’s bail amount was enhanced due to a prior felony according to the booking report and was set at $35,000. He remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

South Lake Tahoe City Clerk Sue Blankenship told the Tribune he can still run for city council since he has just been charged with a crime.

While Brunner told the Tribune he plans to continue his candidacy for city council, Blankenship noted that if Brunner is convicted he would be disqualified from the race.

Laney Griffo contributed to this story.

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