By: Margie Summers
If your name is Hildenbrand in Geauga County you are golden. But the State Highway Patrol in Ashtabula wasn’t so merciful on June 18, 2017, when they arrested Sheriff Hildenbrand’s son, Jonathan, for DUI (Case No. 2017TRC01107).
He was twenty-one at the time and he must have thought they had a two-tiered system of justice there like they do in Geauga County. Anyone ever involved with the Geauga courts knows how that works here. It all revolves around who you know, or if you are a friend of Prosecutor James Flaiz.
Jon was ticketed for DUI, for a breath test between .08 to .17 and for Driving in Marked Lanes. Those last two charges were eventually dismissed.
He pled not guilty. But there is an interesting entry on the docket: “Lake Geauga Ctr. Eval. In Confidential File in Probation.”
On the pre-trial report it said no agreement had been reached and their were “ongoing negotiations.” Who gets to negotiate a DUI arrest??? Not you or me.
Hildebrand had to be continuously alcohol monitored until his next hearing.
There was a second pre-trial that was not scheduled until Oct. 31. But a notation of “Confidential Ltr LGC in Probation” appears on the docket before that hearing. Looks like Jonny boy may have had some previous problems. There is always a diversionary program for first offenders. He was found guilty.
The Judgement Entry reads:
Sentence: Fine: 525.00 Susp:
Costs: 95.00 Susp:
Points: 0 Lic Susp
Susp starts: 06/18/2017, days 365, Susp end: 06/17/2018
Mod: Suspended with limited privileges
Prob type: Supervised Probation Start: 10/31/2017, End 10/31/2019 Minimum Years 2, OVI Program
10/31/2017 Jail Commitment Issued to Ashtabula Jail to serve five days beginning 3/30/18; Occupational driving privileges
1/12/2018 Defendant approved for for occupational privileges with ignition interlock
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and had 175 suspended. He served his five days starting March 30, 2018. Who gets that kind of sentence for a first DUI offense? Who gets two years probation? No one who wasn’t been in trouble before.
And what are the mysterious Confidential documents? Certainly sounds like the Sheriff’s son has had a run in or two with the law.
He did end up having to pay $845, including $200 probation fees. It could have included the cost of the ignition interlock.
Apparently being the Sheriff of Geauga county can’t keep your kid completely out of trouble in another county. But it certainly helped.