Friday, December 9th, 2016

I bet the dog ate the warrant for Chris Abele’s arrest

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This story just gets better and better. Candidate for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, boy millionaire, was arrested for drunk driving in 1996.

In July 1996, Abele was arrested in the northern suburb for driving while under the influence. Milwaukee police began pursuing Abele’s green, two-door Mazda after he was clocked driving 65 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. After a short chase, Abele finally pulled over at the intersection of N. Port Washington Rd. and W. Silver Spring Dr. in Glendale.

The report – obtained this week by No Quarter via open records from Glendale city officials – said Abele “had a strong odor of an intoxicant on/about himself, slurred speech and had trouble maintaining his balance.”

“I then asked Abele how much he had to drink tonight,” the officer wrote. “Abele said about 5 drinks.”

He failed multiple field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.21, more than twice the amount considered evidence of intoxication at the time.

He also was ticketed for non-registration of his car and operating after suspension of his driver’s license, second offense. .

He was 29.

So far, so good. At this point in the story, I would yawn and say, “whatever.” After all, it was fifteen years ago. However, here is where the story gets interesting.

Abele was arrested and given a court date… that he skipped. Glendale, the municipality involved, apparently took some offense at having this important date skipped by Abele and issued a bench warrant for Abele’s arrest. It took him over seven years to appear in court.

Now, I know some of you will find this hard to believe, but Abele claims he did not know that they issued a warrant for his arrest. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking he must be pretty stupid. But the story gets even better. The Milwaukee Journal reports Abele claims he dealt with the matter “as soon as I got a court date”.

This may shock a few of my readers but I have a bit of a lead foot problem. I’ve gotten a few – just a few – speeding tickets in my time. If I can give any advice, the Waukesha sheriffs are pretty cool about it. You still get the ticket, and there is no “Facebook Friend of Dan Vrakas” discount. But at least they’re cool about it. The state patrol is not so cool.

Anyway, every community likes to print the court date right on the ticket. When’s the court date? Oh yeah, it’s right on the ticket. Sometimes that court date is inconvenient. Guess what? There is often a phone number on the ticket that you can call. They’ll tell you everything you need to know about being a scofflaw in their jurisdiction. How convenient is that?

It gets better. Let’s say you miss the court date and they issue a warrant for your arrest. (Fortunately for me, I tend to tackle these problems before the warrant is issued. I’m kinda funny about that.) Guess what? When you call the city attorney’s office about your drunk driving ticket, and they realize they’ve issued a warrant for your arrest, you get to go to the head of the line. Isn’t that great? (Okay, the handcuffs are uncomfortable…)

Despite Abele’s slander of the efficiency of the city of Glendale, it does not take seven years for them to find time for you in court. It doesn’t take any community seven years. Most communities have court every single week, just to make it convenient for you to pay them money.

So Abele is just plain stupid for not understanding that if you don’t make your court appearance for a drunk driving charge they will issue a warrant for your arrest. And Abele must think the voters are pretty damn stupid if they are going to believe that Glendale broke a mirror and seven years bad luck trying to schedule another court date for this guy.

The voters may be willing to forgive Abele for something that happened 15 years ago. And they may be willing to forgive Abele for not thinking a drunk driving charge was important enough for him to deal with – only the little people are concerned with such things. But are the voters really going to forgive Abele for thinking that they’re stupid?

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