April 17, 2014

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UPDATED: Lorain auditor charged with drunken driving

Ronald Mantini

Ronald Mantini

LORAIN — Auditor Ronald Mantini is apologizing after being charged with drunken driving Thursday night after a birthday fundraiser organized by Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer.

Mantini said Friday that he was speeding and had too much to drink when he was stopped at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday on Oberlin Avenue at the Westwood Drive intersection.

“I’m sorry if I embarrassed my family and friends,” Mantini said. “It was a mistake I made, and I shouldn’t have done it.”

When approached by a Lorain police officer, Mantini, 66, stated he “had a few glasses of wine.”

Click here to view dashcam video

Based on his erratic driving, admittance to consuming alcohol and poor field-sobriety tests, Mantini was placed in a patrol car and transported to Lorain City Jail for further blood-alcohol content testing.

According to the police report, Mantini underwent a Breathalyzer test that registered a 0.111 blood-alcohol level. The legal limit in Ohio is 0.08.

Mantini was arrested and charged with drunken driving and reckless operation. He is free on $1,050 bond.

Mantini, who took office in 2000, said he exercised bad judgment after leaving Ritenauer’s event. Mantini said it is the first time he has ever been charged with drunken driving.

“I’m sorry I did it,” said Mantini, who was most recently re-elected in 2011 and earns an annual salary of $88,783.

Ritenauer said Mantini called him Friday and expressed remorse. Ritenauer said Mantini is willing to accept the legal consequences of his actions.

“He knows he made a big mistake,” Ritenauer said.

Ritenauer noted that unlike city department heads, elected officials do not face disciplinary action from the city over arrests.

“They’re judged the next time they come before the voters,” he said.

Reporters Chelsea Miller and Melissa Linebrink contributed to this story.
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

 

  • GreatRedeemer

    Yet another Lorain county politician arrested for DUI. What happened to role models for our youth.
    When will the dash cam be available ?

    • Pete

      Seriously? You actually put politician and role model in the same post?

  • Bill

    “He said it is the first time he has ever been charged with drunken driving.”
    Translation, this is the first time he has been caught driving while intoxicated.

    • Beentheredonethat

      Translation, this is the first time that a policeman did the right thing and gave him a ticket!

  • MrRespect

    DUI’s only help Officials in Lorain get re-elected. Check the record! Lorainites like public represenatives, such as Mayors, Councilmembers etc., who have DUI’s even though they all take the oath of Office that says they will uphold the laws of the City. We are the laughing stock of the State!

  • The_Banker

    Change his name to Ron Martini

  • 2muchgovernment

    “elected officials do not face disciplinary action from the city over arrests”
    Am I misunderstanding this quote or does this mean politicians are free to kill someone while driving drunk, as long as they do it within Lorain city limits? Are they free to commit any crime they would like within the city with no repercussions? Seriously?!

    • Phil Blank

      “They’re judged the next time they come before the voters,” he said.
      So does that mean he won’t go before the Judge and face DUI charges, pay a huge fine, attorney fees and a huge reinstatement fee to the DMV?

      • MrRespect

        He said he wouldn’t be running for re-election, but he has now been advised by someone on City Council to re-consider his decision based on the fact that the more DUI’s you get, the better your chances are of winning in Lorain!

      • 2muchgovernment

        That’s my interpretation of his quote. So, my question is, does this ridiculous rule apply to ALL crimes? Or just traffic infractions? He could have easily crashed and injured, if not killed, someone. What are the rules then? Everyone makes mistakes, but they should also be held accountable and punished the same as any of us would be.

      • stillsleepyeyes

        These charges will be dropped to failure to control………..good behavior for one year…………small fine…………..smack on the wrist and everything back to normal………………….this is what the gardwennie shall get for his puppet……………….

    • Robert Taylor

      He can’t be fired or suspended from his position within the city government, he is still responsible for the legal repercussions of his actions by state law.

  • Pingback: Cosmic near-miss, a fib nets a conviction, and a guy who has heard all the jokes: A.M. News Links | Ohio News

  • grafbob

    I AM SICK OF THIS!!! It continues because there are no consequences. Just like raising children, bad behavior will not stop without consequences. Our judges should take a big part of this blame. It will be pled down to something minor and will not even show a dui on his record. Shame, Shame.

  • Zen Grouch

    Cut the guy some slack, he’s thin and has a 66 year old liver that doesn’t break down alcohol like it did when he was in his 20′s…

    Could be that he had as few as 3 or 4 drinks to put him above the ridiculously low limit of 0.08 BAC after he “heinously” broke the speeding laws by maybe something as low as 5 mph.

    The article doesn’t give the details of how fast or how drunk the guy was, but it seems that every comment here assumes the absolute worse and is pretty damning.

    sheesh…

    • Brian_Reinhardt

      A Lorain police officer in pursuit was traveling at 88 MPH and Martini was still pulling away from him.

      You need to put a ZERO behind that 5 in your comment and that still wouldn’t be enough.

      • Zen Grouch

        None of that information was in the article, before it was updated, and the comments I was referring to, along with mine, were made.

        But I guess you got me there…

        Before all the facts are in, it’s best to believe the worst about people, then you’ll rarely be disappointed…

        hmmm… that seems to be an attitude that’s trending in this country.

    • Daniel Sutter

      Of course he is a democrat, this is LORAIN. Even the ones the unions put in are democrats.

  • DonMega

    People are so sorry when they get caught how bout not drinking an driving in the first place.

  • Conservator440

    He is a democrat politician. Therefore any transgressions are forgiven through the confessional of the democrat party.

    • Pete

      If he was a Republican this article would never had been written in the first place. He would have bought his silence.

      • ken

        good point Pete, your probably right.

      • Den724

        That won’t happen. There are no Republicans holding any office in Lorain County. Well except for Williams the Commish. Other than him can anyone tell me who is a Republican and holding office in Lorain or Elyria? Can anyone tell me when a Republican even ran for office?

      • Conservator440

        If he was a republican he would have been tarred and feathered in front of city hall.

  • oldruss

    This article does not say it, but The Morning Journal did, that the police officer who stopped Mantini on Oberlin Avenue said that Mantini was doing at least 88 mph in a 35mph zone. The Journal article quoted the officer as saying that after Mantini rapidly went by his parked vehicle and stopped for a red light at Tower Blvd., he caught up to Mantini’s car. When the light turned green, Mantini accelerated rapidly and that the officer had to take his vehicle up to 88 mph to stay with Mantini’s car, which was still pulling away from him at that point, when he hit his lights and siren. So, dangerously excessive speed was at play along with an elevated BAC. The excessive speed used by Mantini could have ended in a tragedy, for him and for anyone else unfortunate enough to have been on Oberlin Avenue at that time.

    • Zen Grouch

      **”When the light turned green, Mantini accelerated rapidly and that the
      officer had to take his vehicle up to 88 mph to stay with Mantini’s car,
      which was still pulling away from him at that point, when he hit his
      lights and siren.”**

      So, this moron of a cop was doing 88 in a 35 zone, BEFORE he got around to turning on his emergency lights?!

      He should be fired for driving that dangerously and not then not being smart enough to lie about when he turned his lights on.

      • Missing_OC

        The cop was in it for writing as big of a ticket as possible.. Why stop someone for 60/35 when in 15 more seconds you have an 88/35 to brag about at the Krispy Kreme.. Not to mention more $$$ for Elyria, Atta boy officer!

        • Bill

          Yeah lets overlook the fact the guy was drunk and driving very dangerously and pick apart the cop who was just doing his job. SMH……

        • Bill

          And it was Lorain not Elyria dummy.

      • oldruss

        I was paraphrasing The Morning Journal’s article, perhaps I did so inartfully; nonetheless, Mantini was stopped for both driving under the influence and for excessive speed, to wit: 88 mph in a 35 mph zone. THAT was the point, was it not?

        • Zen Grouch

          Actually my point was that people were being overly judgmental before the facts were in.

          Once you presented the facts, for me, the NEW and more relevant ‘point’ was that a cop was driving recklessly.

          Now you say you may have presented those facts “inartfully.”

          If that means the cop was not driving over 88 mph in a 35 mph zone, WITHOUT turning on his lights and siren, then THAT’s another point all together.

    • zdubb78

      U people all need your head checked!!!
      GO to Tower Blvd…sit at the light and see how hard it is to get up past 88mph and to make a safe turn onto Westwood Drive.
      The officer is fabricating.
      where is the video of the alledged chase??
      Why no radar of Mr. Mantini.
      The guy had a couple glasses of wine and sped on the way home
      Big Flippin Deal

      • oldruss

        Not sure your comments were in reply to what I posted. As I stated, I was paraphrasing a Morning Journal story that added excessive speed to the mix of DUI. As someone once said, “all I know is what I read in the newspapers.”

  • Daniel Sutter

    Thank you Lorain city police officers for enforcing the laws, especially when there could be political whiplash.

  • Don Grantzki

    Why is this still considered “news”?