UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Newton Falls Councilwoman Tesa Spletzer faxes in not-guilty plea
NEWTON FALLS — A Newton Falls councilwoman did not appear in court Thursday morning for her arraignment on charges of operating a vehicle under the influence and not maintaining lanes of travel.
Tesa Spletzer, 53, through her attorney James Foltz of Akron, faxed a not-guilty plea to the court prior to the scheduled 8:30 a.m. hearing.
No further court date has been set, according to records. An attempt to contact Foltz through email has been unsuccessful. The law partner at Foltz’s firm, Linda Malek, declined to make any comment on behalf of any client.
Police Chief Gene Fixler said the incident happened 10:50 p.m. Saturday after a patrol officer noticed a GMC SUV driving on the wrong side of the road coming toward him near the intersection of River Street and East Broad Street.
A police report, released Tuesday, states the driver jerked the vehicle to the right side of the road to avoid striking the police cruiser. The officer followed the vehicle and noticed the driver showed signs of impairment, the report states.
The report noted the woman, identified as Spletzer, was “slurring her speech,” and the officer “could detect the smell of an alcoholic beverage.” It also noted the driver stumbled several times and appeared dazed.
When the woman was placed in handcuffs, she then became irate, cursing and spitting at the feet of officers, the report states. She also refused any sobriety tests, the report states.