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November 18, 2013

River Ridge director again arrested for OWI

River Ridge board president says he doesn’t think Acy’s job is in jeopardy

JEFFERSONVILLE — The executive director of the area’s largest industrial and technology park was arrested for OWI for the second time in three months.

River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy, 63, was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated by Indiana State Police.

According to ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin, Acy — who maintains a Mississippi residence — was pulled over at 1:28 a.m. Sunday morning, at Main and Park streets in downtown Jeffersonville for failing to signal while turning. After he was pulled over, Acy was arrested for suspicion of OWI.

Larry Wilder, Acy’s attorney, said he believes his client’s blood-alcohol content was .09 at the time of the arrest. The legal limit in Indiana is .08.

Mark J. Robinson, River Ridge Development Authority president, said “based on the limited information, I don’t think his job is in jeopardy at this moment, assuming that he will take seriously the advice ... we’re going impose.”

Robinson said he was notified Sunday and told fellow board members of Acy’s arrest, which the board is reviewing. He said after a Monday River Ridge Development Authority meeting that board members have not yet seen a police report or official charges. Acy’s arrest was not addressed during the meeting.

“As we monitor and watch this, we will be thinking in terms of options and remedies to deal with what we think is appropriate in terms of fairness to all parties,” he said. “I think the board differentiates between Mr. Acy’s outstanding, excellent performance of his official job duties as executive director of River Ridge versus personal indiscretions and challenges with alcohol.”

Acy was preliminarily charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a .08 BAC or above, a class C misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering another, a class A misdemeanor.

Goodin said an endangering charge is typically part of an OWI arrest when there is someone else in the vehicle, but he could not confirm whether anyone else was in the car with Acy.

Acy said he was alone in the vehicle — the same 2012 Ford Explorer owned by the River Ridge Development Authority that Acy was driving in August when he was arrested for OWI. He deferred further comment to Wilder.

“Mr. Acy is disappointed in himself,” Wilder said.

He added because of his client’s position in the public eye, his mistakes have been highlighted more than the job he does on a daily basis.

Attempts to obtain the probable-cause affidavit by the News and Tribune on Acy’s arrest were unsuccessful, as the report had not been filed with the prosecutor’s office as of press time.

On Aug. 25, Clarksville Police arrested Acy on suspicion of OWI at a checkpoint in the early morning hours, according to a CPD report.

He failed multiple field sobriety tests and a portable Breathalyzer test returned a blood-alcohol content of 0.11, according to the report. At the Clarksville Police Department, Acy was tested again and blew a 0.10 BAC.

Acy pleaded guilty Nov. 7 to a lesser charge of public intoxication, a class B misdemeanor, in Clarksville Town Court stemming from the first incident.

He was given a sentence of 180 days suspended, placed on one year of probation, paid a $500 fine to the drug and alcohol fund and was charged with court costs.

But with the second OWI charge, the public intoxication charge can be revisited.

“That would be a cause to file a petition to revoke probation,” said Meredith Kraft, probation officer with the town of Clarksville.

She added that the burden of proof is less than on the original case and just being listed on the jail book-in log could be enough to file a petition to revoke probation. The revocation of probation is a determination made by the town court judge.

Check back to and read the print edition for updates to this story.

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