Trustee charged in OVI case

NILES — Howland Township Trustee James LaPolla is scheduled to appear in Niles Municipal Court this morning to answer a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

LaPolla, 53, of 9845 Bayhill Drive, was stopped by Niles police officer Joseph Ombrelio Friday night along U.S. Route 422 at  Frederick Street, according to police  reports.

When contacted by the Tribune Chronicle, LaPolla said he would not comment on the case, citing it as a personal matter.

The police report said Ombrelio saw a southbound black sedan stop abruptly on North Road at the intersection with U.S. Route 422.  The officer followed the vehicle, which had turned east onto Route 422. The  report states that after Ombrelio  saw the vehicle  drift left of center twice, he made the traffic stop.

The officer said he smelled alcohol, and that Lapolla told him he had approximately four drinks, the report states. Lapolla agreed to submit to a field sobriety test, but refused the Breathalyzer test, the report said.

Lapolla, who was elected trustee in 2013, was placed under arrest on a charge of OVI and was cited with failure to drive in marked lanes, the report states. He was released later Friday.