September 2, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria city employee charged with DUI while on the clock

ELYRIA — An Elyria city employee was arrested Wednesday on suspicion that he was driving under the influence in a city vehicle while on the clock.

Police Capt. Chris Costantino said officers arrested Matthew Jurco, 31, of Elyria, on several charges after a report came in from a citizen that someone was driving a city truck and appeared to be impaired.

Jurco is listed as a service worker/meter reader on the 2012 city wage report. He made more than $43,000 last year.

According to a police news release, the resident who called was driving east on state Route 57 near West River Road shortly after 12:30 p.m. The caller was behind Jurco, who was driving a white Ford Ranger pickup with city plates and city emblems.

“The citizen stated that the driver of the city vehicle was driving in an erratic manner,” the report said.

Jurco was pulled over near the Black River overpass and Gulf Road. He immediately identified himself as a city employee.

The report said officers detected signs of possible impairment, and additional sobriety testing confirmed these observations. While searching Jurco, officers found drug paraphernalia/instruments in his coat pocket and prescription drugs not prescribed to Jurco.

Jurco was charged with driving a vehicle under the influence, possession of drugs, possession of drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia. He was released on a summons to appear at 10 a.m. today in Elyria Municipal Court.

He was sent to EMH Elyria Medical Center, where a blood test was taken. The results of the test will not be known for at least two weeks.

Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said Jurco has requested to use a personal day from a bank of paid time off. She couldn’t speculate Wednesday as to whether he will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case.

“We will get a copy of the police report, the facts and make a determination from there,” she said. “We will abide by the collective bargaining agreement as well as city rules and regulations. He is afforded a hearing, and we want to make sure we preserve all the rules and do things the right way.”

Jurco is a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees trade union and has been employed the city for more than five years, Siwierka said.

This arrest comes just two days after Jurco was cited for assured clear distance ahead in a traffic accident on Livermore Drive. He was in a personal vehicle.

Jurco has had several traffic-related arrests and citations over the years.

In 2002, he faced charges of driving under the influence, among others, but ended up pleading no contest to reckless operation and disorderly conduct. His sentence included the completion of a driver intervention program.

He was convicted of speeding in 2003, and in 2011, was convicted of physical control and reckless operation that came with a suspended 30-day sentence with the condition he obey the law for two years. He completed a driving class geared toward drunken-driving prevention in February 2012, at which time he was lifted from probation monitoring.

Siwierka said her office recently began looking at the license status of city employees and nothing popped for Jurco.

“But if it currently wasn’t suspended, we wouldn’t be privy to other information,” she said.

Jurco is the son of retired Elyria police Lt. John Jurco.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.