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Mayor faces charge on physical control

Jan. 24, 2013 @ 11:28 PM

IRONTON -- A charge of driving under the influence against Hanging Rock Mayor Chris Davidson was amended Thursday to "physical control," and he received a suspended jail sentence Thursday in Ironton Municipal Court.

Bob Anderson, an assistant Lawrence County prosecutor, agreed to amend the charge, saying the state didn't have sufficient evidence to pursue the driving under the influence charge.

Davidson was found sitting in his car on Mimosa Lane in Green Valley Subdivision in Ironton last month. The engine wasn't running and there were no keys in the ignition at the time, Anderson said.

Ironton Municipal Judge O. Clark Collins agreed to amend the charge, gave Davidson a suspended 10-day jail sentence, fined him $350, ordered him to pay court costs and placed him on probation for a year.

"It was a technical violation of Ohio law," said Mark McCown, an Ironton lawyer hired to represent Davidson in the case. "I don't think they had probable cause to investigate it."

He said Davidson initially was told he was being arrested for physical control, but later found the charge had been changed to the more serious misdemeanor of driving under the influence.

McCown said there was no allegation that Davidson actually operated the vehicle.