December 22, 2014

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Lorain auditor pleads no contest to charges stemming from DUI

Ronald Mantini

Ronald Mantini

LORAIN — City Auditor Ron Mantini pleaded no contest Friday to failure to maintain physical control and speeding charges stemming from his DUI arrest last year.

Mantini’s attorney, J. Anthony Rich, said police and prosecutors both signed off on the plea agreement that saw the DUI charge being dropped. He said that’s not unusual for a first-time offender who had a fairly low blood-alcohol level and cooperated with police.

Mantini was pulled over on about 9:15 p.m. Nov. 21 on Oberlin Avenue near the intersection of Westwood Drive after Lorain police Officer Craig Payne spotted Mantini’s 2011 Jeep traveling fast.

Payne reported that he began following Mantini, who stopped at a light, but then accelerated when it turned green. Payne wrote in his report said his patrol car hit speeds of 88 mph trying to catch up with Mantini, but the Jeep was still pulling away.

Mantini pulled over after Payne turned on his lights and sirens. He told the officer he’d had a few glasses of wine at the Jackalope Restaurant. Rich said his client never tried to use his position to get out of the ticket.

Mantini failed several field sobriety tests and later took a breath test that showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.111, which is above the legal driving limit of 0.08.

Rich said Mantini was fined $550, ordered to take a driver’s intervention course and will have his driver’s license suspended until later this month. He said Mantini will maintain work driving privileges during that time.

Mantini, who apologized after his arrest, said after the hearing that he appreciated the support of his friends.

“I’m glad it’s over and behind me,” he said. “I’ve got to pay my fine and move on from here.”

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