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Published: Thursday, 12/7/2006

Toledo worker arrested for drunken driving in city vehicle


Last week, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner defended his decision to hire Gary Groszewski to work in the city transportation division despite 12 previous drunken-driving convictions in Toledo Municipal Court.

Today, the mayor fired Mr. Groszewski, a former campaign worker, after he was arrested again this morning for drunken driving while in a city vehicle.

Mr. Groszewski, 50, was charged after he was sent to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center for a blood test, a Finkbeiner administration official said. When he tested positive, Toledo police were called and he was placed under arrest.

Brian Schwartz, a spokesman for Mayor Finkbeiner, said Mr. Groszewski was fired from his city job because he reported for work this morning intoxicated, reportedly the result of being inebriated last night.

Mr. Schwartz said the mayor gave Mr. Groszewski a job and a chance to beat his alcoholism. Mr. Groszewski had been working under probation as a general utility worker in the city transportation department, installing traffic signs.

"We wish him the very best as he wrestles the alcohol demons," Mayor Finkbeiner said, according to Mr. Schwartz.

Bill Franklin, director of the city Department of Public Service, which includes the transportation division, said Mr. Groszewski clocked in this morning and went to work, which involves driving a city vehicle.

Mr. Franklin said city officials had had a suspicion that he was intoxicated, so they took him to the hospital to be tested.

Mr. Groszewski worked on Mr. Finkbeiner's campaign for mayor last year. The mayor said he gave Mr. Groszewski a job on the city payroll despite his past history of criminal convictions because he thought Mr. Groszewski was making a sincere attempt to beat alcoholism.

Court records show that Mr. Groszewski was convicted of driving under the influence 10 times between 1983 and 1991. He was also arrested for possession of marijuana in 2004, but that charge was dismissed and he pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct in that case.

Mr. Groszewski s record was known to the administration which had given him the job on the condition that he could be tested at any time for drugs or alcohol.

Read more in The Blade and online at toledoblade.com.

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