Frankie Coleman pleads guility to OMVI but fights more serious charge
The wife of mayor Mike Coleman has pleaded guilty to some charges in connection with her drunken driving arrest last month in Bexley. But Frankie Coleman continues to fight a charge that could put her in jail for three days.
With news photographer camera shutters clicking away, Frankie Coleman walked into municipal court with her husband beside her.
Standing before the judge with her two attorneys, the wife of the mayor admitted she was driving drunk on October 20th in Bexley. That night police say Mrs. Coleman's car struck a parked truck on South Cassingham Avenue. A breathalyzer test indicated Coleman's blood alcohol level was .27 percent - more than triple the legal limit. According to the law the high blood alcohol level would result in a mandatory three day jail sentence.
So, even though she pleaded guilty to operating while impaired, Coleman continues to fight the breathalyzer test In essence, Mrs. Coleman admits she was drunk while driving , but she is fighting the charge that she was very drunk.
In an effort to keep their client out of jail, Mrs. Coleman's attorneys have challenged the breath test by claiming the Bexley police officer who administered it was not qualified to do so because his certification had expired.
One of her attorneys, Mark Serrott, says it's Mrs. Coleman's right to fight the charge. The issue is she should be treated like anyone else, Serrott said.
Frankie Coleman did not comment to reporters, but issued a written statement. In it she states she's willing to accept the consequeneces of her mistake, but maintained she has the right to fight the remaining charge.
During the hearing, Mayor Coleman sat on the edge of his seat in the second row of the courtroom. Afterwards, he spoke briefly with reporters. I'm here to support my wife. As the classic country song says, I'm standing by my woman, Coleman said.
The case comes at an inopportune time for Coleman. He's running for governor and the case is keeping him in the headlines for reasons other than his gubernatorial campaign. His wife's case will remain open and in the headlines for at least another few weeks. The judge scheduled a December 6th hearing to decide if the breath test was valid.