State Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Bond Hill) pleaded guilty Thursday to having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, a lesser charge than the OVI he initially faced.
Under a plea agreement, charges of driving on a suspended license and driving outside of marked lanes were dropped. The freshman lawmaker will be required to complete a driver’s intervention program, pay a $250 fine and court fees, and will face an 180-day driver’s license suspension, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Denson, who had a single Adderall pill in his car when he was pulled over, still faces felony drug possession charges.
“This isn’t a sweetheart deal,” attorney Brandon Shroy said of the plea agreement. “This is a normal outcome.”
“My advice to him was that this is a case I don’t believe the state of Ohio could prove,” Shroy added. “But in this case, he accepted the offer to get back to his work and stop being on the news for this.”
Denson maintains that he’s “not prescribed” Adderall and does “not use” the drug.
“The fact that it was in my vehicle is concerning and very serious,” he said. Denson will appear back in court on April 15 for the pending drug possession charge. If he’s found guilty of a felony, he wouldn’t be allowed to serve as a state representative.
As The Ohio Star previously reported, Denson was pulled over March 29 in the early morning hours and was charged with driving under the influence. Dash-cam video of the arrest showed Denson repeatedly telling officers that he was a “state representative.”
Denson released a statement on Monday to apologize to his constituents, but denied being impaired.
“I performed several tests during the traffic stop at the trooper’s direction. Although I felt I was not impaired, I was arrested for driving my car while under the influence. I regret refusing further testing that would have established that I was not impaired,” he said. “More than anything, I want to apologize and express my regret to people who feel disappointed by my actions. I share their disappointment.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Sedrick Denson” by Colombus Dispatch.