Portage County judge arrested for OVI pleads guilty, is sentenced in Kent courtroom

Portage County judge arrested for OVI pleads guilty, is sentenced in Kent courtroom
Source: Brimfield Police

KENT, OH (WOIO) - Portage County Judge Becky Doherty, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Sunday evening, was arraigned Friday morning at the Portage County Municipal Court in Kent.

Cleveland 19 News streamed the arraignment live:

Portage County judge arraignment 2/15/2019

Portage County Judge Becky Doherty, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Sunday evening, is being arraigned at the Portage County Municipal Court in Kent >> https://bit.ly/2N6acoZ

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Friday, February 15, 2019

Speaking for Doherty was her attorney Gerald Ingram, who entered a guilty plea on her behalf.

In accepting the guilty plea, the judge in the case said there was no reason for the court to recuse itself from the proceedings, which would have been done had Doherty decided to go to trial.

After the plea was entered, the judge outlined what he said was the standard sentence for first-time offenders charged with the first-degree misdemeanor of operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI).

He said the sentencing in the case would be handled the same as the next 99 sentences for first-time offenders facing the same charges.

“It goes to show that while we may wear a robe, we don’t wear a cape. And we are human,” the judge said before moving on to sentencing.

Doherty was sentenced to 180 days in the Portage County Jail and a fine of $1,075, with 177 days of the sentence and $700 of the fine suspended under the condition that she commits no alcohol or drug related offenses for the next two years.

She is required to complete a 72-hour Driver Intervention Program (DIP), which includes a substance abuse assessment with recommendations she must follow.

Following 10 more days with no driving privileges on her suspended license, Judge Doherty can apply for driving privileges that will allow her to drive to work, medical appointments and the DIP.

She also agreed to pay court costs and the $375 non-suspended portion of her fine before leaving.

“Obviously you have some work to do. And I know that you will take the appropriate steps,” the judge said as the hearing ended.

Following the hearing, Judge Doherty read the following statement:

“Please accept my apologies and my regret for my conduct. I have felt so blessed to be in a position of trust. I regret that I violated that trust. I have dedicated my career to upholding the law and trying to make a positive difference in the world. Unfortunately, I am human. I have made a terrible error in judgement that I must accept both the responsibility and the punishment for. Today I pled guilty to the charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in Kent Municipal Court. As a judge I make decisions every day that I pray will be the most thoughtful and fair for all concerned. I am humbled by and will learn from this experience and am confident it will make me a better judge and resident of our community. Thank you.”

Doherty was arrested Sunday evening after crashing into a ditch on an on-ramp to I-76 east at Route 43 in Brimfield.

She crashed around 9:15 p.m. driving a 2016 GMC Terrain that belonged to an Akron woman.

According to the Brimfield Police Department, Doherty was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. Her arrest was caught on police body camera video.

“I am so intoxicated,” Doherty can be heard saying in the video.

Doherty is the Presiding Judge of the HOPE Drug Court and was elected as a Portage County Common Pleas Court judge in 2015.

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