December 18, 2014

Elyria
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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.