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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Councilwoman Cleta Winslow expected to stand trial tomorrow for DUI charges

Seven months after her DUI arrest, Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow is expected to face several charges in court tomorrow.

Winslow - who was recently re-elected to represent parts of Castleberry Hill, Mechanicsville, and West End - is scheduled to appear before Fulton County State Court Judge Susan Edlein tomorrow morning. She has previously pled not guilty to charges stemming from her DUI arrest last May.

State Court of Fulton County records show that the veteran councilwoman faces five misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence, reckless driving, failure to obey stop sign, failure to obey signs or control devices, and driving on the wrong side of road. CL reached out today to both the councilwoman and her DUI lawyer Antavius Weems for comment, but neither returned our calls.

Atlanta Police last May stopped Winslow's gray Honda Accord a couple blocks away from her West End home. The APD officer who pulled her over said the councilwoman had broke several traffic laws, admitted to imbibing "two dirty martinis" at Elliott Street Pub, appeared intoxicated, and refused a sobriety test. She was arrested and released the following morning on a $3,355 bond.

"She admitted that she was drinking and driving," attorney Jackie Patterson told reporters following her arrest. "That is not against the law in Georgia. It is only against the law if you're an impaired driver. We're asserting she's not an impaired driver."

Winslow has run into a series of troubles at City Hall in 2013. Atlanta's ethics board last month found the councilwoman in violation of the city's ethics code after she spent public funds to shuttle senior citizens to a campaign event. She was smacked with a $2,000 fine for her second election-related ethics violation in four years.

In addition, Winslow caught flak from District 4 challenger Torry Lewis for allegedly making inappropriate reimbursements, which she deemed a campaign attack. She also improperly voted to appoint Weems to a city-appointed position, but acknowledged her wrongdoing at a public meeting where she explained how she had missed the item on Council's consent agenda.

Winslow's jury trial is scheduled to start around 9:00 a.m at the Justice Center Tower.

UPDATE, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.: Judge Edlein said today in court that Winslow's trial will be reset after her attorney filed an emergency leave of absence. It'll appear on the court's January docket.

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