Seven Hills councilman tells police he had ‘a lot’ to drink after crashing into mailboxes

Published: Oct. 8, 2022 at 12:27 AM EDT
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SEVEN HILLS, Ohio (WOIO) - A Seven Hills city councilman is facing criminal charges after he got behind the wheel drunk and crashed into several of his neighbors’ mailboxes in the process. 19 Investigates got a hold of the dash camera video from police on Friday.

In the video Seven Hills City Councilman John Kulju appears to be highly intoxicated. It was a neighbor who called the cops on Kulju after he said he crashed into his mailbox nearly running over his wife before hitting another mailbox and taking off.

“How much have you had to drink today?” the officer asked.

“A lot,” the councilman replied.

As he admitted in this video, the 63-year-old city councilman decided to take some shots of whiskey and go for a drive around his neighborhood at 9 o’clock in the morning. The incident happened back on August 23rd but 19 Investigates just received the dashcam video from police.

Police say they came out to McCreary Road that morning after getting calls from neighbors that a white SUV had damaged their property, hitting several mailboxes before taking off. While officers were talking to the witnesses a white SUV that had front-end damage and was dragging debris down the street drove past them.

“What happened to your head?” the officer asked. “You got a cut on your eye?”

“I do,” said Kulju.

“What’s that from?” the officer asked.

“I don’t know,” Kulju replied.

According to the report, the officer could smell booze as soon as the councilman rolled down the window.

“Where are you coming from?” the officer asked.

“I’m coming from uh…” said Kulju.

“Where are you coming from? That’s a pretty simple question,” said the officer.”

“I’m coming from Cleveland,” the councilman told him.

“So, you weren’t coming from your house 10 or 15 minutes ago?” the officer asked.

“I was,” Kulju admitted. “Yes, I was.”

“So, why’d you tell me you were coming from Cleveland?” the officer pressed. “You couldn’t have made it to Cleveland in 15 minutes and all the way back here unless you were really hauling.”

Kulju told the officer he didn’t know where the damage on his car came from and claimed he had only had two shots of whiskey.

“Okay we both know that’s a lie,” the officer said. “You’ve had more than two, right?”

“Yeah,” the councilman admitted.

We reached out to the city council clerk for a statement, and we asked if Kulju was still working as a councilman, but he didn’t respond.

According to a video posted on the city’s YouTube page, Kulju was in attendance for their last council meeting on September 27th.

The councilman had a blood-alcohol content of .264, that’s more than triple the legal limit. His license was also suspended. He pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to control. He’ll be back in court on October 17th.