But Gallagher says he owes it to the public to explain why he missed the Utilities Board meeting yesterday.
“I was dealing with family issues,” said Gallagher, whose brother-in-law, 45-year-old Nick Stachelodt, was stabbed to death Saturday in Alaska.
“My wife is crushed because her sister is devastated,” he said.
According to news and police reports, Stachelodt was killed over a cigarette.
The victim’s father, Jon Stachelodt, told state troopers that his son had refused to give a cigarette to a young man who knocked on the door of the family home, The Associated Press reported. The father told police he later saw his son fighting with a person who had climbed into the family car, according to the AP.
An 18-year-old man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
“Two people’s lives totally destroyed over a (expletive) cigarette,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said his family doesn’t plan to attend Nick Stachelodt’s funeral.
“We’d like to, but one, there’s the finanicial because it’s very expensive to fly to Alaska with no notice, and two, this is in the middle of the campaign,” he said. “I can go to Alaska, but then I’m pretty much saying I’m dropping out of the race.”
Gallagher said the next mayor of Colorado Springs is going to have to deal with “distractions” all the time.
“So we do what we can,” he said. “We keep moving forward.”