Chef Elijah Milligan, one of the city’s rising culinary stars since he was named chef at Stateside in March, lost his job in the wake of an arrest on Oct. 22.
Milligan was arrested after he got tangled in a dispute at his girlfriend’s apartment building in Olney, said his attorney, Jonathan M. Cohen.
Cohen said that the incident involved an argument between Milligan’s girlfriend, with whom he has a 2-year-old, and her sister’s girlfriend, who lived in an apartment downstairs.
“The story that the witness told was incredible,” Cohen said, referring to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday. “She admitted on the stand that [Milligan] was trying to mediate a dispute between his girlfriend and her sister and the sister’s [girlfriend].”
Milligan was charged with misdemeanor counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats and possession of an instrument of crime, according to court records.
A stay-away order also was issued against Milligan. “That’s routine in cases like these,” said Cohen, who expects that the charges will be dropped. “He wants nothing to do with them.”
A message left with the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, Whitney Golden, was not immediately returned. A trial has been scheduled in Municipal Court on Dec. 9.
A source at Stateside who asked not to be named said the arrest had nothing to do with Milligan leaving the restaurant. “He’s a good kid and a great chef,” the source said. “The whole thing was a misunderstanding. He didn’t do anything wrong and he was trying to help a friend.”
Cohen said Milligan “lost his job within hours of the arrest.” It’s a shame Milligan got caught up in this, Cohen said. “He’s a peaceful foodie guy.”