Hilliard Northwest News

Bradford pleads not guilty to drunken driving charges

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An attorney representing Hilliard Law Director Tracy Bradford entered a not guilty plea to drunken driving charges at Bradford's arraignment May 23 in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Hilliard police arrested Bradford April 23 and charged her with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Bradley Koffel, Bradford's attorney, confirmed via text message May 24 that Bradford pleaded not guilty.

Koffel said he did not waive the right to a speedy trial; therefore, unless a plea agreement is entered, a jury trial would start no later than 90 days after May 23.

The case has not been assigned to a judge and no court date of any kind has been set.

Bradford will retain her driver's license with no restrictions pending the disposition of the case.

Bradford also will remain Hilliard's law director.

Mayor Don Schonhardt previously said he would wait until the conclusion of Bradford's trial or closure of the case before considering whether discipline or other action is necessary.

"(Bradford) has no history (of similar incidents) and there is no reason for me to believe she cannot continue in her present capacity (as law director)," he said.

Hilliard police stopped Bradford, 50, shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, on Smiley Road near Polley Road in Norwich Township, less than a mile from Bradford's Scioto Trace residence.

Bradford was arrested for OVI and "marked lanes," indicating she was observed weaving before police stopped her vehicle.

Video from a camera in the cruiser shows Bradford submitting to several field sobriety tests before she was arrested. Bradford did not submit to a chemical test.

In a previous statement to ThisWeek, Koffel said, "Mrs. Bradford wants the chance to participate in the legal system as is the right of every citizen. She is being tried for OVI, not for being the law director of Hilliard."

Koffel said police make arrests based on probable cause, but convictions require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

"We believe there is a lack of physical evidence to support (the charge)," Koffel said. "The video does not support what the officer says."

Bradford was named law director in February, succeeding Pam Fox, who took the post of law director in Worthington.

Bradford had been an assistant law director since February 2004.

Bradford was an assistant city attorney in Dayton from January 2002 to February 2004.

From February 2000 until June 2001, Bradford was director of economic development and public safety for Hilliard.

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