Perry County Judge Dean L. Wilson is being charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated after failing to stop after an accident. The judge drives a Mercedes-Benz, which hit a Central Ohio Transit Authority bus Sunday night in the Arena District.
Wilson is a 60-year-old Republican first elected to the Perry County Court in 1990. He once spoke about how trials were about helping students by deterring them away from driving under the influence.
The judge himself implemented a program that warned young people of the dangers of drinking and driving. "We've fortunately not had one alcohol-related incident in any of the schools, involving the proms, since we instituted the program," Wilson said at the time. Because the judge drove drunk, he will be facing his own consequences.
"It wasn't like he sideswiped it. It was like he hit directly into it," described Mark Williams, a passenger on the bus. "It was hard, like boom. And he just backed up and ran off. And we couldn't believe it. We was just stunned for a minute. The bus driver said, 'Did somebody just hit me?' and we're all like, 'Yeah, and he just ran off.'"
A Columbus Police helicopter found the judge 12 miles away, on I-70 eastbound near Brice Road. When told about the accident, he responded, "Oh wow! That's incredible. That's amazing. I would never believe that!"
At first, Wilson refused a breathalyzer and field sobriety test. "I understand you've got a job to do. And I appreciate that, but I have no comment. Any questions can be directed to my attorney," he said.
This is not the first time a public servant has gotten out of line. According to another report from The Inquisitr, several new cops went on a drunken rampage after academy graduation. They are currently facing the possibility of getting fired.
"Everyone was drunk," an unnamed source told the New York news site DNAinfo. "They were telling people they were cops and to f**k off, and some were fighting with patrons and themselves, and there was maybe even a little ass-grabbing."
When Williams found about that the man who had hit the bus was Judge Wilson, he commented, "To acknowledge that they did wrong, and to own up to it and be a man. Hypocrite... hypocrite."
The judge is facing first-degree misdemeanors (OVI and hit-skip) which could lead to up to a year in jail, 6 months for each. Wilson is due back in court September 10. Until then, it is unclear on how Wilson's arrest will impact his judiciary position. He could face anything from a reprimand to a full disbarment.