On-duty bus driver arrested on suspicion of DUI

A TriMet bus heads up NW 23rd Avenue in Portland on Dec. 15, 2016.

An on-duty TriMet bus driver was arrested early Tuesday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

A Gresham police officer saw a TriMet Line 20 bus speeding on Southeast Stark Street near 205th Avenue just after 12:30 a.m., the Gresham Police Department said in a news release.

The officer stopped the bus and spoke to the driver, who showed signs of impairment, police said. The driver, Lamont Biggs, 55, of Portland, was arrested after an investigation on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Police said there was one passenger on the bus who left during the traffic stop and wasn’t identified.

Biggs had been on duty since 4:42 p.m., a TriMet spokeswoman said.

Paramedics were called because of a medical condition, which police did not describe further. Biggs was cited and released, police said, because the medical condition prevented him from being lodged at Multnomah County Jail.

Biggs was hired as a bus operator in 2016, according to TriMet records previously obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

A spokeswoman for the transit agency said Biggs has been placed on administrative leave during an internal investigation, and that the driver could be fired if the accusation of DUII is upheld.

“We have more than 1500 operators who work diligently day in and day out to provide safe transit service,” said Roberta Altstadt, the spokeswoman. “An incident such as this does not reflect their commitment or TriMet’s commitment to our community.”

A TriMet supervisor picked up the bus after Biggs’ arrest, police said.


Driver was under the influence of heroin in Derry crash, troopers allege

Paul Peirce

State police in Greensburg allege a Hempfield man was under the influence of heroin when he ignored a stop sign in Derry Township almost a year ago and caused a two-vehicle crash.

Kody R. Konop, 25, is charged with driving under a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, careless driving, failing to stop at a stop sign and reckless driving in connection with the March 13 accident at the intersection of South Valley Street and Route 217.

Witnesses told Trooper Brandon Boyd that Konop appeared to have his head down toward his lap when he ignored a stop sign on South Valley Street at 11:31 a.m. while driving a 1999 Toyota Corolla and collided with a 2007 Chevrolet Impala traveling on Route 217, according to an affidavit filed with Derry District Judge Mark Bilik.

Boyd reported Konop was airlifted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of multiple injuries he suffered in the crash, but he spoke to Konop in an ambulance after he was extricated from his car.

“Konop advised that he had lost his brakes and was unable to stop for the stop sign. I asked Konop if he had been drinking or had taken any illegal drugs,” Boyd wrote.

“Konop stated, ‘I shot up last night. … I am dope sick,’” Boyd wrote in the affidavit.

Boyd reported that he saw Konop “go on the nod” multiple times as he was interviewed and that Konop admitted that he had been addicted to heroin.

An emergency medical technician told troopers that Konop “had admitted to him he was using drugs” before the crash, the trooper said.

Boyd said he confiscated a hypodermic needle “that was sticking out of a pair of black and red socks that was in the door pocket” of Konop’s vehicle.

The complaint was mailed via summons. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 14 before Bilik.


Officer charged with stealing money from woman he arrested

A GBI investigation led to two charges against the officer

ATLANTA — A north Georgia police officer is facing charges and is under investigation by state agents after allegedly stealing money from a woman he arrested.

Warrants provided to 11Alive allege East Ellijay Police Department officer Michael Gene McClure was arresting 53-year-old Donna Adams of Blairsville, Georgia when his own actions became the subject of an internal investigation.

Adams was arrested on several charges ranging from driving under the influence of drugs to tampering with evidence. But according to sworn statements from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, her arresting officer took the opportunity to steal from her.

According to the report, McClure allegedly stole a $150 money order from Adams’ purse and took it to a local branch of BB&T bank to have it cashed.

McClure now faces charges of violation of oath by a public officer and theft by taking – both misdemeanor offenses.

Meanwhile, the woman he arrested faces three felony counts of obstruction of an officer and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, tampering with evidence, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, failure to yield entering roadway and possession of a drug-related object.

It’s unclear if McClure’s own arrest will impact her charges.


Lawmaker cited for driving under the influence


OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democratic Rep. Timm Ormsby of Spokane has been charged with driving under the influence after his Jeep ran off the road and rolled into a yard in Thurston County.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Ormsby, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was arraigned in Thurston County District Court Monday for the Saturday accident.

The citation filed with the court for Ormsby’s hearing says he had a blood alcohol content of at least .090 in an infrared scan and as high as .10 on the electrochemical scan of the Breathalyzer test. State law sets the limit for driving under the influence at .080.

In a written statement Tuesday, Ormsby apologized, writing that he “made a very poor choice this weekend.”

Ormsby, 58, wrote that he will “abide by whatever consequences I receive.”

The accident occurred at an intersection about three miles west of the city limits, near the area where he lives during the legislative session. According to a Thurston County sheriff’s investigation first reported by KXLY, Ormsby said he was distracted by a text message from his wife while turning onto the road, causing him to swerve and crash his Jeep.

The investigating deputy reported smelling a “heavy odor of alcohol” from the vehicle, and Ormsby said he had two 16 ounce beers while working on the state supplemental budget. He failed field sobriety tests before agreeing to take the breath test. After failing the breath test and being told his blood alcohol wouldn’t be that high from just two beers, he reportedly said he also had two 12 ounce beers in the afternoon before going to work.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said no decision has been made yet about whether Ormsby will lose his chairmanship.

“We take this very seriously,” Sullivan told the Spokesman-Review Tuesday. “We’ll have this conversation in our leadership team. It’s a group decision.”

The Legislature is currently in the midst of a 60-day legislative session scheduled to end March 8. Senate and House leaders are set to release their budget proposals in the coming weeks.

Middle school principal accused of drugged driving

BARRE, Vt. (AP) — Barre City’s middle school principal is facing a charge of driving under the influence or drugs.

Vermont State Police say Michael Dreiblatt of Manchester Center was arrested in Shaftsbury on Monday afternoon after being pulled over for a vehicle inspection violation. Police say he showed signs of impairment and they found a small amount of marijuana in his vehicle.

School Superintendent John Pandolfo said Tuesday afternoon that Dreiblatt is no longer working at the school. But would not elaborate, saying it’s a confidential personnel matter.

The 54-year-old Dreiblatt did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Bennington on March 26.