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Published: Wednesday, 6/13/2007

Columbus Grove mayor jailed, allegedly violated DUI probation

OTTAWA, Ohio - Columbus Grove Mayor Michael Bogart is being held in the Putnam County jail without bond, pending a probation violation hearing today in Putnam County Court.

Early Friday, Mr. Bogart, 50, who last month pleaded no contest to and was found guilty in Putnam County Court of a drunken driving charge and is on probation, was asked to take an alcohol breath test at his place of employment in Bluffton.

He failed the test and took off in a blue pickup truck before deputies could get him a ride home, a sheriff's office report said.

A short time later, a sheriff's deputy spotted the pickup on Road Z just west of Road 9Q in Putnam County's Pleasant Township, pulling into a mobile home park, where it stopped. Once out of the pickup, Mr. Bogart was approached by the deputy.

The deputy struck up a conversation with Mr. Bogart, smelled alcohol on his breath, and asked him to undergo a horizontal gaze test, to which Mr. Bogart agreed. The mayor failed the test, the deputy wrote in his report.

After that, Mr. Bogart was taken to the sheriff's office, where he was arrested. Also at the sheriff's office, he was subjected to breath tests, each time failing to provide a valid sample. He denied having any alcoholic beverages in the previous 24 hours and told the deputies he had some over-the-counter cold medicine earlier in the day, the report said.

Mr. Bogart was arrested Feb. 10 near his home after a state trooper saw him driving on the wrong side of the street. According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, the mayor refused to submit to any tests, repeatedly tried to walk away from the trooper, and finally had to be wrestled to the ground and subdued with a Taser and Mace.

He pleaded no contest and was found guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and resisting arrest. Two other charges - obstructing official business and wrong way/one way - were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

County Court Judge Michael O'Malley gave Mr. Bogart a suspended jail sentence under the condition he has no similar offenses for two years and other requirements. He was placed on probation for a year, ordered to pay $600 in fines, complete a 72-hour driver intervention program, and undergo a counseling assessment.

Mr. Bogart also was given a one-year driver's license suspension, but was granted occupational driving privileges.

He is in the final year of his second four-year term as mayor of Columbus Grove.



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