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Published: Tuesday, 4/3/2001

Mayoral aide sentenced to jail

Deborah Younger, a top aide to Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, will have to spend 10 days in jail for her second driving under the influence of alcohol conviction in five years, a judge ruled yesterday.

Ms. Younger, 40, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced by Judge S. Dwight Osterud in Perrysburg Municipal Court.

Perrysburg police charged Ms. Younger, 40, acting director of development, with driving under the influence Feb. 2 after she ran a red light about 2 a.m. while driving a city-owned vehicle.

Martin Aubry, municipal court prosecutor dismissed the red-light violation when Ms. Younger agreed to plead guilty to the DUI charge during a pretrial hearing.

Judge Osterud sentenced Ms. Younger to 100 days in the Wood County Justice Center, with 90 days suspended. She will serve 10 days there beginning April 30.

Ms. Younger was placed on inactive probation for five years. Her driving record will be checked during this period. The judge ordered her driver's license suspended for 36 months, but granted her occupational driving privileges, which means she can drive for work-related reasons during her employment with the city.

She has 10 days to pay a $400 fine and $160 in court costs. Judge Osterud ordered her to be assessed for an alcohol treatment program at Behavioral Connections of Wood County and to follow the recommendations of the assessment, Ms. Elkes said.

“I don't have any comment other than to say I'm glad for Deborah that she received the minimum sentence.” said Samuel Kaplan, Ms. Younger's attorney. “I think that was appropriate that no more than the minimum was given.”

Ms. Younger could not be reached for comment last night.

Mr. Aubry said he never expected the case to go to trial. “The facts were good enough. It wasn't a case to be tried. I never suspected anything but a plea to the DUI,” he said.

Perrysburg police stopped Ms. Younger at West Front and West Boundary streets and noticed recent damage to the rear of the city-owned 1999 Jeep Cherokee she was driving. They noted on her citation that the DUI charge was her second since 1996 when she was charged while driving the same Jeep in central Ohio.

The mayor demoted Ms. Younger, who had been assistant chief operating officer, cut her pay, and suspended her for two weeks without pay after her recent arrest. She no longer drives a city vehicle because Perrysburg police seized her driver's license when she refused to take a blood-alcohol test, Mary Chris Skeldon, the mayor's spokeswoman, said.

“The city has responded with our own discipline to this matter. The actions of the court reflect the seriousness of the offense. Ms. Younger is a valued employee who seriously erred, and both the city and the courts have dealt with the situation,” Mayor Finkbeiner said.

Ms. Younger is not the first city employee to be sentenced for DUI.

Bill Franklin, Toledo's former commissioner of streets, bridges, and harbor, was sentenced to 40 days in jail and fined $800 after pleading guilty to two drinking-related offenses in 1996.

He was placed on probation for one year and had his driver's license suspended for two years, though he was allowed to drive for work-related reasons.

He was driving a city vehicle during one of the two accidents in which he was charged. The accidents were his second and third drinking-related traffic offenses in five-years.

After his last arrest, Mr. Franklin was suspended without pay for about a month, was demoted, and his salary was cut.

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