October 24, 2014

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Lorain auditor pleads not guilty to DUI charge

Ronald Mantini

Ronald Mantini

LORAIN — City Auditor Ron Mantini pleaded not guilty Tuesday to DUI and willful disregard of safety charges stemming from his arrest last week, his lawyer, J. Anthony Rich, said.

Mantini was pulled over around 9:15 p.m. Thursday on Oberlin Avenue near the intersection of Westwood Drive.

Lorain police Officer Craig Payne wrote that he spotted Mantini’s 2011 Jeep traveling at a high rate of speed and he began to follow it.

Payne wrote that Mantini stopped at a traffic light and accelerated when it turned green. Payne’s report said his police cruiser hit speeds of 88 mph trying to catch up to the Jeep that was still pulling away.

Payne activated his lights and sirens, and Mantini finally stopped the vehicle, the report said.

Mantini told Payne he’d had a few glasses of wine at the Jackalope before failing several field sobriety tests. A breath test showed that Mantini had a blood-alcohol level of 0.111, above the legal driving limit of 0.08.

Mantini has since said he made a mistake and apologized.

Lorain Law Director Pat Riley said his office will bring in a special prosecutor to handle the case to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Riley also said he’s been told that the two judges in Lorain Municipal Court will also remove themselves from the case and ask for a visiting judge to take over the matter.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • Bill_Bishop

    Mantini has since said he made a mistake and apologized. My question, why plead not guilty? Why cost the taxpayers more money? Just take your punishment and be done with it.

  • Rear_View

    90+ miles per hour in a 35 zone!!! This IDIOT is lucky no one was KILLED!!! What a FINE example our ELECTED OFFICIALS set!!! And remember… this is just the ONE TIME he got CAUGHT!!! Oh… wait a minute… he’s a ‘DEMOCRAT’… okay… all is FORGIVEN!!!

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      I’ve been staying quiet on this, but no longer. I’ve known Ron for a number of years and he is a pretty good guy. Sounds like he made a mistake that I’m sure he regrets. Ron is the opposite of a menace, just a guy who made a bad decision.

      As I recall (maybe I’m wrong) from listening to the tape of his arrest, the officer stated that he had to accelerate to 85 MPH to catch up; that does not mean Ron was going 88 or 90+ like Rear_View is suggesting. The best thing for everyone is to allow this case to go through its proceedings and in the end, if you wish to hate on him, by all means go ahead, that is your right.

      And if you don’t have the courage to make personal attacks using your real name, give yourself two pats on the back, cowards.

      • stop ur whining

        I’m sure he is a nice guy, maybe you should call him and tell him to do the honorable thing and plead guilty to DUI when all the evidence points to it instead of pleading it down. He drank, he drove, he got caught. that is a DUI.

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          Save your advice for your clients, counselor.

          • stop ur whining

            come on Larry, you are level headed, pleading guilty is just the right thing to do.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            That’s not a given. I believe there are some serious issues with the officer’s statement of fact.

          • stop ur whining

            Larry, he failed a breathalyzer, he was drunk. there is too much evidence to support it. Him attempting to pleading it down is typical, i will grant you that. Everyone who gets DUI’s pleads them down, and that is wrong. But this is a public official so it is news. he should plead guilty and take his lumps.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I still say there’s something fishy with the officer’s statement of facts. Who is to say the breathalyzer results weren’t dummied up.

          • stop ur whining

            Larry i read your posts and share some common threads. I respect your opinion but come on man, you just jumped the shark. do not let personal connection cloud your judgment. if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck…..

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I have a 430 HP Mustang. I’d have to jump on it to get up to 88MPH between Tower and Westwood starting from a dead stop. The officer’s story doesn’t hold water.

          • stop ur whining

            but it does. he merely pulled him over for excessive driving. regardless how accurate the speed and distance, it was excessive and warranted getting pulled over. once pulled over he failed sobriety tests, admitted to drinking, and failed a breathalyzer. Your buddy is guilty of driving under the influence, really no way around it.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I didn’t see any mention that he was clocked with a gun, just the officer’s exaggeration of his estimated speed. Perhaps the officer falsified the breathalyzer results as well? Is this some sort of retribution for the recent contract negotiations? It’s a good thing everyone gets their day in court. God Bless America!

          • stop ur whining

            you do not need a radar gun to be pulled over for excessive driving. it is broad, i will give you that. but once pulled over, it is apparent why. have you ever seen a breathalyzer unit? I have, it is next to impossible to “tamper” with the results. face it, the guy drove drunk and admitted it and is going to plead it down. nothing more, nothing less. just embarrassing bc of who he is.

      • Jim

        I believe the officer reported he had to accelerate to 88 MPH and he was STILL losing distance to Ron– meaning Ron had to be going faster than 88 MPH.

        The rest of it, not knowing him personally, sounds like he did make a serious error of judgement and he should pay the consequences.

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          “I mean at one point I had to reach 85 miles per hour to try to get up to you.” – Officer Payne

          Doesn’t look like Ron was driving a super charged sports car and the distance from Tower to Westwood isn’t that far, so I think the officer is exaggerating somewhat.

  • levtrotsky

    We better back-off…………….
    Where else could he get such a good paying job for being a figure- head Auditor…….The Chief Deputy is the true Auditor.

  • stop ur whining

    just want to make sure i’m understanding this correctly.

    1) He was pulled over for excessive driving

    2) admitted to drinking
    3) failed numerous field sobriety tests
    4) fails a breathalyzer

    5) apologies for his acts

    AND THEN PLEADS NOT GUILTY

    incredible that one can do that when EVERY ounce of evidence shows he was irresponsible and shouldn’t have driven. all this to get a DUI knocked down to failure to control or some other B.S. violation, when again there is ample evidence to suggest that he is CLEARLY lying. No wonder people are fed up with elected officials.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Auditor, Council member, Mayor, School board member All charged with DUI in Lorain county. Where else can you get a job with good pay, great benefits break the laws of the land keep it. All for the small price of (D) after your name.