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Mayor's Marijuana Case To Hit Court In Two Weeks

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Stephen F. Childers, the mayor of Lakehurst and road supervisor for Ocean County, will get his day in court in two weeks to answer charges of marijuana possession and driving under the drug's influence.

The charges stem from a traffic stop Aug. 1, when Childers was stopped by Manchester Patrolman Brian Collins at about 11:45 p.m. on Route 70 near Beckerville Road.

Collins reported he smelled what he suspected to be marijuana coming from the vehicle and witnessed Childers throw something out the window of his pickup truck, according to Manchester police.

Childers, 50, of Union Avenue in Lakehurst, has said he would not resign from his mayoral post before his term expires on Dec. 31. Childers, who is not running for re-election, has served as the borough's mayor since 1996. Before then, the Republican was a councilman and council president for a decade.

Childers could not be reached for comment Friday. The Lakehurst administrator and clerk also could not be reached for comment. Childers' attorney, S. Karl Mohel, declined to comment Friday about the allegations.

However, Childers did respond to the charges in his weekly column in the Advance News of Manchester Township.

"I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused to the borough," he wrote. Childers also wrote the allegations involve "an incident in my own personal vehicle during my own time away from work or municipal functions."

On Aug. 9, Ocean County "took disciplinary action against Mr. Childers in accordance with Ocean County's long-standing personnel policies," County Administrator Alan W. Avery Jr. said in a statement.

County officials contend they are prohibited from releasing further information on the action against Childers because it is a personnel matter, Avery said. He also said the action was taken after "a thorough review of the municipal charges filed against" Childers.

A record of the corrective actions has been filed with the state Department of Personnel in accordance with state requirements, Avery said.

Childers' status with the county and the disciplinary action taken against him "is considered confidential personnel information that cannot be released to the public," said Sherri Jones, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Personnel.

Childers earns $109,000 a year plus a 7.3 percent longevity bonus as road supervisor, said Donna Flynn, a spokeswoman for the county.

When Childers was arrested, the mayor was charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, being under the influence of marijuana, throwing debris from a motor vehicle, reckless driving, possession in a motor vehicle of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and driving while under the influence.

The charges could add up penalties of thousands of dollars in fines, jail time and a driver's license suspension, according to William Heisler, Ocean County's chief assistant prosecutor. But he said such charges would not force Childers to be removed from his mayoral post.



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Source: APP.com
Author: Lauren O. Kidd
Contact: lkidd@app.com
Copyright: 2007 Asbury Park Press.
Website: Lakehurst mayor's marijuana case to hit court in 2 weeks
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
guess they forgot to charge him with breathing while driving //what was the initial reason he was pulled over?

Collins reported he smelled what he suspected to be marijuana coming from the vehicle and witnessed Childers throw something out the window of his pickup truck, according to Manchester police.
i'm thinking they weren't moving, or going very slowly at the time.
 
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