ELYRIA — A city worker pleaded no contest last week to DUI and possession of drugs charges after he was caught driving under the influence in a city vehicle earlier this year.
Additional charges of possession of drug abuse instruments and possession of drug paraphernalia against Matthew Jurco, 32, were dropped as part of his plea deal, according to Elyria Municipal Court records.
Jurco was sentenced to a total of 60 days in jail, but all but three of those were suspended. He also was fined $1,500, but $700 of that was suspended, court records showed. He also received a six-month driver’s license suspension but retains work driving privileges.
Jurco was pulled over near the Black River overpass on Gulf Road in Elyria on March 13 after another driver called police to report that a city vehicle was being driven erratically. Police reported they immediately detected signs that Jurco was impaired and found drug paraphernalia and prescription drugs not prescribed to him.
Court records indicate that Jurco has a history of traffic infractions, including pleading down a DUI charge to reckless operation in 2002. He was convicted in 2011 of physical control and reckless operation that led to him taking a class geared toward preventing drunken driving.
As part of the conditions of his latest conviction, Jurco must undergo drug and alcohol counseling.
Paul St. Marie, Jurco’s lawyer, said his client was taking responsibility for what happened.
“Matthew realized he had a problem and is doing his best to deal with it and he’s shown the type of fortitude necessary to be successful,” St. Marie said.
The city suspended Jurco for 30 days and he signed a last-chance agreement that allowed for random drug testing before he returned to work June 3.
Elyria Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said Jurco passed the first drug test that he was given after coming back to work.
She said he continues to work as both a meter reader and do service work in the city’s Utilities Department.
“He’s been totally compliant and we’ve been monitoring it closely,” Siwierka said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.