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10-21-05, 07:50 AM
I guess this belongs in Politics. Makes me so proud to be a Columbus Democrat... ;)
<b><a href = "http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2005/10/21/20051021-D4-00.html">Columbus mayor’s wife faces DUI charge</a></b>
Friday, October 21, 2005
Matthew Marx

Frankie L. Coleman, wife of Columbus mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael B. Coleman, was charged with driving drunk last night after hitting a parked truck in Bexley, police said.

Mrs. Coleman’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times the limit of what’s considered to be drunk in Ohio, Bexley Police Sgt. Bob Cull said.

She registered a 0.271 percent at Bexley police headquarters. An Ohio driver is considered to be drunk at 0.08 percent.

No one was injured in the accident, which occurred about 9 p.m. in the 900 block of S. Cassingham Avenue.

Witnesses said Mrs. Coleman was going south on Cassingham when she swerved her 2003 white Cadillac to avoid a northbound van and hit a pickup parked north of the intersection of Havenwood Drive S.

Officers said Mrs. Coleman was cooperative but failed a field-sobriety test. She then was taken to police headquarters.

There she asked for no special treatment, nor was she given any, Cull said. She told officers that she had been coming home from a friend’s house. The Colemans live in Berwick, several blocks south of the accident site.

She was charged with drunken driving and failure to control. Cull expects her to appear in Franklin County Municipal Court by next Thursday, he said.

About 11:30 p.m., the mayor arrived at police headquarters. Mrs. Coleman left with him and their son J.D. about 10 minutes later. Mayor Coleman had no comment.

Mrs. Coleman has no previous arrests for drunken driving, so she was released to her family, as is done with 90 percent of such arrests in Bexley, Cull said. Only those who have no one to pick them up or are too unruly would be sent to jail, he said.

Mayor Coleman is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006, running against U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, of Lisbon. Coleman was elected mayor in a 1999 landslide and won another term in 2003.

Mrs. Coleman, whose father passed away in August, successfully battled breast cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in October 2002.

The Colemans recently welcomed home J.D. from Iraq. He is with the Marine Reserves Lima Company.

Family friend LaVonna Allen drove to the Bexley jail after seeing news of Mrs. Coleman’s arrest on the 11 p.m. TV news.

"My heart goes out to her because I know what she’s going through," Allen said, noting the recent death of her father and J.D.’s tour in Iraq. "You reach a point where you’re bound to explode."

<i>Dispatch reporters Jim Woods and Kevin Kidder contributed to this story.</i>

Th0r S1mpson
10-21-05, 09:35 AM
Wow, she wasn't just drunk. She was trashed.


This wasn't an "oops" after a glass of wine. Sounds like it's been a tough few years. No excuse to drive drunk though. :(

10-22-05, 11:30 AM
First his campaign advisor (http://www.10tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3290583), now his wife.

Glenn Beck had a field day with this on his radio show yesterday.

Red Dog
10-22-05, 12:02 PM
She'll probably get a slap on the wrist. -ohbfrank-

10-22-05, 06:28 PM
Our Attorney General here in WI got stopped for a DUI and is still in office.

10-23-05, 11:42 AM
In Missouri, if you drive away from a gas pump without paying, your license gets taken away for 6 months. For the first DUI, you get to keep driving.

10-27-05, 11:31 AM
From today's Columbus Dispatch:

Mrs. Colemanís DUI court date delayed
Investigation was handled by the book, Bexley police say
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Jodi Andes and Joe Hallett

The wife of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman wonít be in court today to answer to a charge of drunken driving.

Attorneys for Frankie L. Coleman requested that her arraignment, scheduled for this morning in Franklin County Municipal Court, be delayed for two weeks.

In the meantime, theyíre looking for ways to keep Mrs. Coleman out of jail, though her high blood-alcohol level on the night of the arrest would carry a mandatory three days in jail if sheís convicted.

Attorneys Ben Espy and Mark Serrott didnít give a reason for requesting the postponement but by law donít have to, said Municipal Judge Amy Salerno, who granted the delay.

Mrs. Coleman, whose husband is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, was arrested last Thursday after hitting a parked truck in Bexley and registering a blood-alcohol level of 0.271 percent on a Breathalyzer.

That is more than three times the 0.08 percent at which a motorist is considered to be driving drunk in Ohio.

Mrs. Coleman is now sched- uled to appear in Municipal Court on Nov. 9 before Judge Scott D. VanDerKarr.

The mayor and his wife still refuse to talk about the crash, but in a written statement issued last week, Mrs. Coleman said: "I take full responsibility for my actions and I fully acknowledge and regret my mistake."

Her attorneys were at the Bexley Police Department this week to examine the Breathalyzer and review log books that detail when itís regulated, said Bexley Sgt. Tony Martin.

"Our first reaction was they are going to fight for their client," Martin said.

He said heís confident with the work that Bexley police did the night Mrs. Coleman was arrested.

"Everything on our end was handled by the book," Martin said.

Stephen McIntosh, chief criminal prosecutor for the city attorneyís office, said Mrs. Colemanís attorneys have asked the office what its "position and policy is" regarding jail time for drunken drivers found to have a "high test" in Ohio.

"High test" applies to motorists who have a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 percent or more. Since May 2000, any motorist who has been convicted of that level or greater is required to spend three days in jail and three days in a state-approved treatment facility, said Jon Saia, a Columbus lawyer who specializes in such cases.

But the Breathalyzer test can get tossed out of court if defense attorneys can prove problems with it.

That could include, Saia said, police not giving the test within two hours of the arrest or a police officer who is not properly certified administering it.

Mrs. Coleman wonít receive special treatment, McIntosh said.

"I had some discussions. We have not had any real negotiations," McIntosh said of talks with Mrs. Colemanís attorneys. "We require, absent a reason to believe the test is not getting in (court), that they plead to the OMVI (operating a motor vehicle impaired) high-test result."

In other words, unless Bexley police did something wrong, Mrs. Coleman has to serve jail time, McIntosh said.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, has been following Ohioís governor race.

"As embarrassing as it would be to serve the three days in jail, sheíd be better off doing it for her husbandís sake," Sabato said. "What sheís said (if she doesnít serve time) is, ĎI accept responsibility, but I donít accept the penalty,í " Sabato said. "Itís making it a bigger issue than it would otherwise be."

Mike Brown, spokesman for the mayor, and Greg Haas, Colemanís gubernatorial campaign manager, said they are not privy to any legal deliberations in Mrs. Colemanís case.

"I know nothing at this point about what theyíre doing," Brown said late yesterday.

Former State Sen. Bruce Johnson, a Columbus Republican and now Ohioís lieutenant governor, sponsored Senate Bill 22 in 2000, which doubled the minimum jail time for drunken drivers with at least a 0.17 percent blood-alcohol content.

"When we passed the law, the General Assembly at that time was interested in those who quite obviously were well above the legal limit to serve some extra time," Johnson said yesterday.

Based on his experience as an attorney who once handled cases in the Franklin County Municipal Court, Johnson said that on rare occasions ó such as when a defendant from out of state had to travel a long way ó the court waived the mandatory jail time in lieu of a hefty fine.

Johnson said he knows little about Mrs. Colemanís case and declined to comment about it.

Nice to see Larry Sabato giving his $.02. I grew up watching his political analysis on the local NBC channel in Richmond. I like him a lot (even if he is a Wahoo).

10-27-05, 11:36 AM
She needs to do the jail time if her husband really wants to be governor.

10-27-05, 06:12 PM
If she truly wanted to "accept responsibility" and "doesn't want special treatment," then she wouldn't have had her lawyer request a 2 week delay.

11-04-05, 11:25 AM
Attorneys for mayorís wife question test in DUI case
Police officer who gave blood-alcohol screening isnít qualified, brief says
Friday, November 04, 2005
Robert Ruth and Jodi Andes

Lawyers are trying to keep Frankie L. Coleman out of jail. She was charged with drunken driving in Bexley on Oct. 20 after her car hit a parked truck.

Attorneys for Frankie L. Coleman, in an effort to keep her out of jail, are questioning the qualifications of the Bexley police officer who gave her a blood-alcohol test last month when she was arrested on a charge of drunken driving.

The attorneys gave Columbus City Prosecutor Stephen McIntosh a legal brief on Wednesday questioning the validity of Officer Joseph V. Chapmanís certificate to administer Breathalyzer tests.

Coleman, wife of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, was charged with drunken driving in Bexley on Oct. 20 after her car struck a parked truck on S. Cassingham Avenue about 9 p.m.

Mark A. Serrott, one of her attorneys, said yesterday that she accepts responsibility for being impaired but her defense team doesnít want her to spend three days in the Franklin County jail.

A test Chapman administered found that Mrs. Colemanís blood-alcohol level was 0.271 percent, more than triple the 0.08 percent at which a motorist is presumed drunk in Ohio. State law requires motorists whose blood-alcohol level is 0.17 percent or higher to spend at least three days in jail and three days in a treatment center.

Motorists who test below 0.17 percent are required to spend three days in treatment, but there is no required jail time.

Mrs. Coleman does not object to spending three days in a center, Serrott said. "We donít think she should be treated any better or worse than any other person."

In the brief, Mrs. Colemanís attorneys say Chapman should have been required to take a 16-hour alcoholtesting course before the Ohio Department of Health renewed his certificate this spring because his old certificate had been expired for almost three months.

Their reasoning: Chapmanís previous one-year certificate became effective on April 27, 2004, the day the state mailed it to him, and expired 112 months later on April 27 this year. The certificate was not renewed until July 19, the day a new permit was mailed out.

The attorneys cited a 2004 case involving a woman charged with drunken driving in which the city of Columbus argued that a police officerís alcohol-testing certificate became effective on the date the state mailed it to him.

Bexley Police Chief John Carruthers and Dean Ward, chief of alcohol and drug testing for the Health Department, said Chapmanís certificate had not expired.

"There was no lapse," Ward said, and the date the certificate was mailed is irrelevant. Health Department inspectors routinely give renewal tests to police officers months before their certificates expire, Ward said. The tests involve written exams and demonstrations that officers can operate Breathalyzer machines.

The certificates are then mailed to the officers but do not become valid until the effective date, he added.

Chapmanís old license was mailed on April 27, 2004, but became effective on Sept. 8 that year, Ward said. His new license was mailed July 19 but did not become effective until Sept. 8, the day the old one expired, he added.

Even if Chapmanís certificate had expired, he would not have been required to take another 16-hour course, Ward said, because police officers have two years to apply for a renewal.

McIntosh said he will decide today whether to use results from Mrs. Colemanís Breathalyzer test. Part of his decision will be based on whether the 2004 case and Mrs. Colemanís case are similar, he said.

Oh, that's classic. Part of "accepting responsibility" is also accepting the consequences (in this case, 3 days in jail). She should've just done her time and moved on, rather than draw this out, keeping it in the news.

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