Court records show he allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration of .17 and the legal limit in Ohio is .08.

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CHARDON -- Willoughby-Eastlake school superintendent Stephen L. Thompson pleaded not guilty in Municipal Court Friday morning to drunk driving and failure to maintain an assured Clear distance.

He appeared before visiting judge William A. Kobelak.

Thompson, 48, of South Russell, was charged following a 2:30 a.m. crash Saturday at the corner of state Route 306 and Mayfield Road (state Roure 322) in Chester Township.

Court records show he allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration of .17 and the legal limit in Ohio is .08.

Thompson is the former school superintendent at Chagrin Falls schools. He is scheduled for another court appearance June 4. His attorney said he expects Thompson to plead guilty at the next hearing.

Related story: Willoughby-Eastlake school superintendent charged with DUI

Thompson spoke to the media after the arraignment.

Thompson said he would take responsibility for his actions and apologized to his friends, family and the community."Last weekend I made a significant mistake, one for which I am truly sorry. I operated a motor vehicle when I should not have," he said.

He also said he would make a donation to Students Against Drunk Driving.

"I sincerely hope this incident will be reminder to everyone how one bad decision, isolated incident, can be painful, embarrassing and potentially tragic," Thompson added. "I sincerely apologize and commit to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure this never happens again."


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