Lawmaker pleads guilty to drunk driving, weapon possession

State Rep. Francis “Chip” Baltimore, a Boone Republican who has pushed for legislation to keep drunken drivers off the roads, pleaded guilty Friday to driving while intoxicated in January, court records show.

Baltimore pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated and possession of a dangerous weapon while under the influence. In court documents, he admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol Jan. 19 in Ames, and while he was intoxicated, he had a weapon in his possession.

Prosecutors and Baltimore’s attorney have asked the judge to sentence the 51-year-old state representative to probation with the Center for Creative Justice for a year for each charge. He will also be fined a $1,250 civil penalty, must undergo substance abuse evaluation and will be required to complete a drinking and driving school.

Baltimore, a lawyer who was removed as chairman of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee after his arrest, told an Ames police officer he had been en route to his home in Boone after attending meetings in Des Moines, according to court records.

MORE: Baltimore plans to advertise his OWI arrest if he runs again

A police report stated Baltimore consented to a chemical breath test on a state certified device which registered his blood alcohol content at 0.147. The legal limit for operating while intoxicated is .08.

Baltimore was stopped by an Ames police officer shortly before 4 a.m. after authorities received a report of a reckless driver traveling northbound on Interstate Highway 35. The vehicle was described as operating at varying speeds and swerving in and out of its lane, according to the court documents.

The police report said Baltimore was driving a dark-colored 2014 Ford Explorer when an officer observed him traveling at about 55 mph in a 70 mph zone that was entering a 65 mph zone. He was pulled over by police near U.S. Highway 30 westbound and Dayton Ave.

The officer said Baltimore had slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes, slowed movements and admitted to drinking about three drinks with the last drink being three hours earlier, and his breath smelled of alcohol. The lawmaker stepped out of his vehicle and failed a walk and turn test, police said.

After Baltimore was placed under arrest for a first offense of operating while intoxicated, he admitted to an officer that he had a Smith & Wesson handgun under his driver’s seat.

Baltimore was able to produce a concealed carry permit issued by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and he was transported to the Story County Jail. Court records show that Baltimore was also cited for improper use of lanes.

Baltimore, who is an Oskaloosa native, is serving his fourth term in the Iowa House after initially winning election in 2010.

As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Baltimore presided over discussions on proposals to curb drunken driving. Two years ago, lawmakers began considering a bill to require people convicted of an alcohol-related offense, including driving while intoxicated, to check in at a law enforcement office twice a day and take a breath test. Those who tested positive for alcohol or some other drug would face immediate consequences, including being taken to jail.

The bill failed to win final approval in 2016, but last year a version of the proposal was passed by lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad. The program, however, will only be used in Iowa counties that volunteer to implement it.

Editorial: Lawmaker charged with OWI while possessing gun benefits from law he helped change

Numerous attempts have been made in recent years to require all people arrested for driving while intoxicated to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles. When a driver with alcohol on their breath blows into the device, the vehicle won’t start. The proposal, which is expected to be proposed again this year, has never made it the floor of both the Senate and House for debate.

In late 2016, Baltimore told the Register that he did not know of a lawmaker who was “pro-drunk driver.”

“I think there’s a big group of caring people who want to make sure we keep drunk drivers off the street,” he said at the time. “There’s just disagreement on how we are going to do that and who is going to pay for it.”

Boys basketball coach resigns after OUI arrest

Bangor High School boys varsity basketball coach Carl Parker has left that post in the aftermath of his arrest for operating under the influence of intoxicants over the weekend.

The move came on the same day Bangor was to play at Windham in a Class AA North quarterfinal game. Jon McAllian, the Rams’ junior varsity coach, was set to handle the coaching duties for that game.

“If you screw up, you’ve got to own it,” said Parker in a telephone conversation early Tuesday afternoon after he had issued a letter of resignation to school officials. “Obviously I feel awful, but again you’ve got to take ownership of the things that you do. I’ve always been that way.”

Parker said he was returning to his Bangor home from a Class AA North coaches meeting in Lewiston on Saturday and was northbound on Interstate 95 in Etna when he attempted to pass another vehicle.

“I had drank,” he said. “I went to pass a car and hit black ice and away I went.”

Parker’s car came to rest on its passenger side along the side of the highway and he subsequently was taken into custody by the Maine State Police.

Parker said he was administered a blood-alcohol test in Bangor but did not pass.

The State Police confirmed Tuesday that Parker was arrested. Details about the circumstances of Parker’s arrest and his blood-alcohol level were not available Tuesday because the trooper was off duty until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

It is illegal in Maine to operate a vehicle if a person’s blood alcohol level is above .08 percent.

If convicted, Parker faces a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory 150-day license suspension. If his blood-alcohol level was .15 percent or above, he also must serve 48 hours in jail.

Parker said he notified school officials of the incident soon after he returned home Saturday.

“He self-reported the information in a timely fashion, he knew it was a serious matter that we’d have to address,” said Bangor High School principal Paul Butler.

“We confirmed everything on a reasonable timeline and with a thorough approach and decided that we needed to relieve him of coaching responsibilities,” Butler added. “I think Carl recognized that and followed up with a written resignation.”

That school’s decision was reached late Monday.

“It’s on me,” Parker said. “It’s not on anyone else and I’m sorry for the position I put the administration in. I really am.”

Parker, a longtime Bangor resident, was in the third season of his second stint as boys varsity basketball coach at Bangor High School.

His most recent teams had improved each season, with the Rams going from 5-13 in 2015-16 to 8-10 last winter and 9-9 this season good for a fifth-place finish in Class AA North.

Parker previously coached Bangor for two seasons during the mid-1980s, when his teams compiled a 23-13 record and advanced to the 1985 Eastern Maine Class A semifinals before school administrators opted not to renew his contract over two incidents when he was issued technical fouls during the 1984-85 season.

Parker’s coaching resume included subsequent varsity stops at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, where he also served as athletic administrator.

He also was an assistant coach with the former MCI postgraduate program and head coach of Lee Academy’s postgraduate team.

Parker also has been well known in coaching circles for his contributions to the state’s AAU basketball community, being one of its founders in Maine in 1991.

Parker coached numerous teams to AAU national tournament appearances, highlighted by his 17-and-under squads that earned 11th-place finishes at the AAU 11th-Grade National Championships in both 2007 and 2014.

Bangor boys basketball coach resigns after OUI arrest

Driver cited with OVI after crash into pole knocks out power

FOX19 NOW/Matt Wood
DELHI TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) –A driver was cited with OVI after his vehicle crashed into a utility pole, snapping it and sending wires down across a Delhi Township road overnight, police said.

Gregory Ransick blew .147 on a sobriety test, which is well beyond the Ohio limit of .08, according to police.

Police said they suspected Ransick had been drinking when they responded to a report of a traffic crash in the 5400 block of Delhi Avenue just after midnight Wednesday.

They said they found his vehicle into a utility pole. The impact from the crash snapped the pole, sending wires down across the road.

Delhi Avenue is shut down between Morrvue and Brookforest drives while Duke Energy crews put up a new pole.

Iowa football player pleads guilty to OWI


A University of Iowa football player has pleaded guilty to driving drunk in early December, court records show.

Brandon Paul Snyder, 22, pleaded guilty Thursday to operating while intoxicated-first offense, a serious misdemeanor, after he was pulled over on the morning of Dec. 10 in Iowa City, according to court documents.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed the safety could avoid their recommended two days in jail if he participated in the Kirkwood Community College OWI Weekend Program. He may also be fined $1,250.

Snyder was pulled over in a gray 2017 Dodge Challenger at about 3 a.m. Dec. 10 at Melrose Avenue and Hawkins Drive, near Kinnick Stadium, police said. He had bloodshot, watery eyes, dilated pupils, eyelid tremors, impaired speech and smelled of alcohol, according to a criminal complaint.

Police said Snyder admitted he had been drinking. He was wearing multiple wristbands and failed a breathalyzer test, authorities said. He was booked into the Johnson County jail and released less than seven hours later.

A breathalyzer test later showed Snyder’s blood alcohol content was .163 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

In a previous statement, head football coach Kirk Ferentz said the athletic department was “very disappointed to learn of Brandon’s involvement.” An athletic department spokesman said Monday that Snyder remains on the team.

Snyder, a starter at free safety throughout his sophomore season in 2016, tore his left knee ACL for the first time during spring practices and underwent surgery in April.

The 214-pound, 6-foot-1 junior returned to the field for the Hawkeyes less than six months later, when he played almost the entire game in Iowa’s 45-16 victory over Illinois in October and returned an 89-yard interception for a touchdown. It was also during that game that Snyder re-injured his ACL, sidelining him for the season.

He was expected to undergo a second surgery and be eligible to return to the field by June.

Snyder was the Hawkeyes’ third-leading tackler in 2016, with 85 stops. He led the team with three forced fumbles and also tied for the team lead in interceptions with three and fumble recoveries with two in his first season as a starting free safety.

He was the only junior on the Hawkeyes’ leadership team this season despite his injury.

DA accused of reckless driving now teaching at WNMU

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico District Attorney infamously captured on video getting out of a potential DWI arrest now has a second job.

Despite being charged with using her job to obtain personal benefits, a New Mexico college has hired her as a part-time professor.

The University says she was the only applicant qualified for the job.


Francesca Estevez is the Grant County District Attorney.

“I didn’t think I did anything wrong, except I swerved to remain control,” says Estevez.

Back in 2016, a witness saw her weaving all over the highway near Silver City on a weekend in her government-issued car.

“Going off the road… Going head on! Other cars coming!” says the caller.

Silver City Police suspected she was drunk, but never tested her and sent her on her way.

The attorney general eventually charged her with reckless driving and for using her work car for personal gain and ethics violations.

As she waits for her trail to start in June, Estevez can add another job skill to her resume: teacher at Western New Mexico University.

“Ms. Estevez is on contract in a temporary position to instruct the Police Academy cadets,” says Gilbert Najar, Police Academy Director at WMNU.

The Police Acadamy Director says Estevez is teaching police cadets how to become a police officer. She is getting paid about $5,500 for the part-time job.

Najar says it is only going to last until April when a full-time professor comes on board.

“We were successful in finding an applicant here locally, current District Court Judge Aldrich will be assuming that position.”

Even though Estevez is controversial, Najar says he stands by his hire.

“I can’t comment on any pending legal actions,” Najar says, “Based on her qualifications, history and experience, knowledge, her doctorate and everything that I considered, she does meet the requirements.”

Najar says the cadets do not seem to mind their instructor’s history.

“I’ve not received any negative feedback on her instruction today,” says Najar.

Estevez is still in the District Attorney in Grant County. She easily won re-election after the now-infamous traffic stop.