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Published: Wednesday, 12/11/2002

Sheriff aide faces 6 traffic charges

LIMA, Ohio - An Allen County sheriff's supervisor who oversees the local drug task force is facing six traffic-related charges stemming from two separate incidents on Nov. 26.

Clyde Breitigan, 51, faces one count each of driving under the influence, failure to stop after an accident, and reasonable control. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and is expected to appear Friday in Lima Municipal Court for a pretrial hearing, court officials said.

He also faces additional charges of driving under the influence, reasonable control, and driving with a suspended license. No court dates were set in that case.

Sheriff Dan Beck said the incidents occurred on a day off for Mr. Breitigan, who is the supervisor of the Lima-Allen County narcotics task force.

In the first instance, Mr. Breitigan, a retired Lima police officer, was stopped by Lima officers shortly after a rear view mirror on the van he was driving hit a tree on West Market Street.

After he was stopped, Mr. Breitigan was taken to the Lima police station, where his blood-alcohol level allegedly tested at 0.20, or double Ohio's legal limit for driving a motor vehicle.

He was released from the department into the custody of a sheriff's official, who drove Mr. Breitigan to his home.

But the sheriff said Mr. Breitigan left his home later in the day and was driving an unmarked car owned by the county at the time. The car is assigned to him for use in drug enforcement calls.

During that instance, the sheriff said his deputies stopped Mr. Breitigan and charged him again with DUI, as well as reasonable control and driving with a suspended license stemming from the earlier incident.

The sheriff said yesterday that Mr. Breitigan remains on the job pending the outcome of his court cases.

Sheriff Beck said Mr. Breitigan will be disciplined internally, but the sheriff said he didn't expect that Mr. Breitigan will be fired from his job.

Mr. Breitigan has worked two years for the sheriff's office.

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