Janesville City Council candidate Jason Davis said he has changed his life since his criminal convictions that include operating a firearm while intoxicated and battery.

“I’ve had my troubles, but since all of this, I’ve taken a big turn, and that’s why I’m fighting,” Davis said. “I’m fighting to help make a change in Janesville.”

The Gazette routinely checks the criminal records of local candidates in contested races.

Records indicate that in November 2011, Davis, 37, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct/domestic violence while armed, endangering safety/use of a weapon and second-offense operating while intoxicated. He later was found guilty of operating a firearm while intoxicated and second-offense drunken driving, according to court records.

Davis told The Gazette that on the night of the incident, he had a couple drinks and was preparing to go pheasant hunting when he accidentally fired his weapon. Scared, he left the residence. His wife came home later, saw the damage and called police, Davis said.

Police reports tell a different story.

Reports indicate Davis’ wife called police after he got drunk, armed himself with a gun and threatened to harm himself. His wife told police Davis struck a dog with the butt of the gun and cocked it, which is when she left and called police, according to reports.

Davis drove a vehicle away from the residence and was found near a church, where he was arrested, according to reports.

Davis said that narrative was rescinded in court. Davis’ wife stood by him through the entire legal process, he said.

Davis also was convicted of battery in 1999 when he was 18.

That conviction was from his “younger days,” he said. “I’ve moved on from that.”

Davis said he’s changed. He helps with food drives, is involved with churches and talks to troubled youth all over the city, including at the juvenile detention center and public schools, to help them get off the path he was once on, he said.

“I am who I am because of the person that I was before. I made some mistakes, but that doesn’t define who I am,” Davis said.

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