Jury finds Councilman Zack Reed guilty of drunk driving

10:45 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Web extra: Zack Reed talks 1-on-1 with Tom Beres

Video: Jury reaches guilty verdict in Zack Reed OVI trial

Video: Raw video: Jury convicts Zack Reed

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CLEVELAND -- A jury has found Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed guilty of drunken driving.

The jury of eight returned with its guilty verdict just after 2 p.m. 

The jurors had been deliberating since late Monday afternoon.

The judge has referred Reed for a pre-sentence report. He is due to be sentenced on Sept. 5.   

The conviction could potentially put Reed's position as Ward 2 councilman at risk. 

Channel 3 Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres talked to Council President Martin Sweeney.  

"I have asked him to resign before, my position has not changed," Sweeney said.

Under council rules, Reed could be dismissed for 10 unexcused absences at committee or council meetings. He could face up to six months in prison as a result of this conviction.

Councilman Mike Polensek said, "Reed's a good council member and other councilmen in the past with bad attendance records have not been punished." Polensek says Reed's fate in council should be left up to the voters.

A majority of residents in Ward 2 questioned by Channel 3 said they would vote for Reed again despite his OVI convictions.

This latest conviction is in relation to an arrest last March in downtown Cleveland. Police pulled Reed over at East Ninth Street and Rockwell Avenue after he ran a red light and made an illegal turn.

Reed claimed during the trial officers smelled Listerine, not alcohol, on his breath. He refused to take a breath test.

Reed was previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2005 and 2008.

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