Royal Crown Revue's Singer Pleads To Lesser Charge

Eddie Nichols offers 'no contest' plea to disorderly-conduct charge stemming from fight with off-duty officer.

The assault charge against Royal Crown Revue frontman Eddie Nichols stemming from an arrest last month in Ohio for striking a police officer was reduced Tuesday (Nov. 24) to disorderly conduct, according to court clerk Connie McDonald.

The singer for the retro-swing band pleaded no contest to the reduced charge, which Toledo Municipal Court Judge Frances Gorman lowered at the prosecuting attorney's request.

The judge also chose not to fine Nichols, who already had served jail time in the case. The charge, one of several that resulted from a fight between Nichols and off-duty officers at a chain restaurant, took an unexpected turn several weeks back after the officers were accused of instigating the scuffle.

"The parties agreed to resolve the differences in a civil context," McDonald said, explaining that Nichols' case now is inactive in criminal court but that a civil lawsuit or settlement may be imminent.

Monica Seide, Royal Crown Revue's publicist at Warner Bros., could not be reached for comment on a possible suit.

Nichols and guitar-technician Steve Brewer were arrested Oct. 24 at about 3:30 a.m. following an altercation with off-duty police officers at a 24-hour Big Boy Family Restaurant in Toledo, Ohio.

A witness to the incident said that an altercation began when Nichols was hit by spitballs thrown from the police officers' table. Nichols since has acknowledged punching one of the men, claiming he did not know at the time that the individual was a police officer.

He initially was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge in addition to a felony for assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The misdemeanor assault was dropped Oct. 26 and the singer pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct. He was given credit for the three days he spent in jail over the weekend.

Brewer, who at first was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing official business, was convicted only of the disorderly conduct, and he paid a fine.

The outcome of the case follows the Lucas County Police Internal Affairs Department announcement that they would investigate to see if the police officers did anything wrong in the arrest of Nichols and Brewer.

Subsequently, Jon Rogers, director of police internal affairs, said he saw no reason for an investigation into Nichols' arrest after speaking with other officers present at the time the incident occurred.

Rogers acknowledged that the officer Nichols struck, Daniel Garner, had been drinking and may have gotten rowdy prior to the altercation. But he said he did not see a need to investigate the incident because he didn't believe Garner was intoxicated.

Rogers could not be reached for comment Tuesday (Nov. 24).

Royal Crown Revue, who combine horns, big grooves and lounge-style vocals, recently completed a tour in support of their most recent album, The Contender, which features the song "Stormy Weather" (RealAudio excerpt). Along with Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the band is one of the groups that ushered in the '90s swing revival.