Vandalia’s City Manager Rob Anderson was sentenced Friday to diversion after he entered a provisional plea of guilty to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The judge also gave Anderson his driver’s licence back during the hearing. It was previously suspended because he refused a breathlyzer test when he was pulled over by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper in August.
Louie Kindell, the special prosecutor from Piqua assigned to Anderson’s case, made the recommendation to visiting Darke County Municipal Court Judge Julie Monnin during Anderson’s administrative driver’s license hearing. Vandalia’s City Prosecutor Claudia Terrell and Judge Cynthia Heck recused themselves from the case because they report to Anderson.
“It’s more or less the standard recommendation for first time offenders,” Kindell said of why he suggested diversion.
“It’s provisional on the condition that he successfully completes the 72-hour residential driver intervention program,” according to Leonard Oram, the court’s director of Probation and Diversion. “He cannot re-offend for a period of one year. At the end of that one year, I check to make sure that he’s completed the program and that he has not re-offended and then the case is dismissed.”
In order to be in the diversion program, a defendant cannot have any prior OVI charges or diversion cases, according to Oram. “We only take people with clean records, as far as no bad driving records,” he said.
The diversion sentence comes with a $550 fine, according to Oram.
Anderson, 41, has been city manager since 2011.
An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper cited Anderson during an Aug. 16 traffic stop on North Dixie Drive near Maxton Road.
The trooper noted in an impaired driver report that he initiated the traffic stop after Anderson allegedly committed two marked lane violations. The report also said that Anderson’s breath emitted a strong odor of what the trooper believed was alcohol, despite the fact that Anderson was chewing gum.
Anderson and his attorney Andrew Pratt declined to talk about the misdemeanor case.
The city is not paying Anderson’s lawyer fees, according to Rich Hopkins, Vandalia’s communication manager.