Shawn Bell and Brian Nieves
Shawn Bell, left, former campaign manager for Dick Stratman, and Brian Nieves, right, state representative and state senatorial candidate for the 26th district.

An attorney for Shawn Bell, the man who accused State Rep. Brian Nieves of assaulting him, said the two sides are discussing a resolution that could head off a threatened civil lawsuit.

Those negotiations, which began over the weekend and continued Monday morning, led Bell to withdraw a request for a protection order against Nieves. A hearing scheduled for Monday in Cole County on the protective order was canceled.

"The parties are working diligently," Alan Mandel, Bell's attorney, said Monday afternoon. "Both parties are taking this seriously."

Mandel declined further comment. Nieves did not return a phone call seeking comment on this story.

Depositions of Nieves, his wife Julie, and his campaign treasurer, Dave Bailey, were taken last week in connection with the hearing for the protection order.

Bell, the former campaign manager for Dick Stratman who lost to Nieves in the Republican primary election for the 26th District state Senate seat, filed a complaint with Washington police alleging that Nieves displayed a handgun and assaulted him when he went to his headquarters Aug. 4, the day after the election, to offer congratulations.

Nieves has denied he assaulted Bell who he has called a "victim" and a "pawn" who was being used by top state politicians and political power brokers to block him from the state Senate.

Earlier this month, Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks declined to press criminal charges against Nieves after reviewing police reports. Parks said he did not have sufficient evidence to support criminal charges.

Nieves called the incident with Bell one of the "weirdest" things to ever happen in his life and blamed the police complaint on James Harris, a Republican political consultant and Bell's employer. Harris is formerly from Washington.

After Parks announced that he was not going to file criminal charges in the incident Bell said he was planning to file a civil lawsuit against Nieves over the alleged assault incident.

Nieves has established a legal defense fund to help cover his legal expenses and his supporters held a fundraiser for him Saturday night.

Nieves will face Democrat George "Boots" Weber, Eureka, in the November general election.