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Va. judge dismisses charge against Rep. Ryan

Published: Wed, December 5, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

Congressman cited for public intoxication during a visit to Virginia in August

By David Skolnick



A Virginia judge dismissed a public-intoxication charge against U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who called the citation “garbage.”

Ryan, of Niles, criticized police in Lexington, Va., where he was cited with the misdemeanor.

“We were walking down the street, and I had thrown my back out the day before,” he said. “I was contorted and got pulled over. They stopped me. It was bizarre.”

Ryan, D-17th, had left a wedding reception of a staff member and was walking outside when charged by police at 2:01 a.m. Aug. 25.

“I wasn’t intoxicated,” he said. “I was walking strange because of throwing out my back. In this town of Lexington, Va., they stop you for that. They have a history of pulling people over.”

Ryan added: “I couldn’t believe they wanted to arrest me, so I refused to take a Breathalyzer.”

On Tuesday, Gordon F. Saunders, the presiding judge of the Lexington/Rockbridge General District Court, dismissed the charge.

Lexington, Va., police declined Tuesday to give out information in an arrest report except the location and time of the charge and Ryan’s name.

Under Virginia’s public-records law, each police department has the authority to provide or deny further information, according to a Lexington police spokeswoman.

Lexington Police Chief Al Thomas declined to provide additional information.

Ryan, a six-term congressman, didn’t attend Tuesday’s court hearing. He was represented by Attorney David Mackin.

While a student at Bowling Green State University, Ryan was charged three times with disorderly conduct.

He was found guilty of one charge in 1993 for having a fake ID while he was a 19-year-old student. The two other charges were dismissed.

Meanwhile, Ryan was selected Tuesday to serve on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which determines what Democrats get on which committees.

“It’s the committee of committees,” he said.

This paves the way for Ryan to reclaim his seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

“I’m confident I’ll get back on Appropriations,” he said.

A decision could be made as early as today or next week, he said.

Ryan lost his seat on the powerful committee in January 2011 after Republicans took control of the House and lowered the number of Democrats on Appropriations from 37 to 21. Ryan had served four years on the committee.

Seats on most House committees are largely based on seniority, and Ryan was the 23rd-most senior Democrat on it. Enough Democrats are leaving the House to move Ryan into the position to return to the committee.

Appropriations oversees close to $1 trillion in spending bills, and its members often are able to steer millions of dollars into their districts.


1grazor50(104 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like more than "pulled over" for a bad back and walking funny, He wasn't pulled over when he was walking to the wedding "party". Guess would be that it is just another case where POLITICIANS have one set of laws to follow and the rest of us just have to keep paying fines mounted on any other piggy back collection methods that courts seem to pile on for everything just so they can waste the money as usual.

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2YSUguins(19 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I watched him stumble his way around Tippecanoe Country Club one night this past summer. Many people were commenting how embarrassing it was to see a Congressman out in public in such a drunken condition. So goes it in the Mahoning Valley. If you have a "D" by your name in the voting booth, you are almost guaranteed a victory. Nothing else matters. I would personally take a large bet that he was way over the legal limit in Virginia too. But having friends in high places sure has its benefits, huh?

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3Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

you can kiss Governor Tim Ryan goodbye.

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4chiefjeffams129(5 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

If you weren't intoxicated, why refuse the breathalyzer????? Bolgna!!!

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5JoeDirt35(17 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

WKBN has him stating that he is on/off medication for his back most likely a opiate and when mixed with alcohol-very intoxicating and dangerous.Tim has had issues with alcohol since his college days-remember the disorderly conduct charge.I only hope that he can get some help.

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6UNCOMMONSENSE(628 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

chiefjeffams129... I agree. Simply take the test and prove them wrong of their suspicions.

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7redeye1(5683 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Timmy belongs to the D party which stands for DRUNK party along with Dumbocrat party. I just have to wonder what party the judge votes with. i guess if anyone who doesn't want to take a breath - test can now, can just say that he is following Timmy Ryan 's example as a way to beat the rap. Good example Timmy!!!!!.But as long as the LAGER heads around here keep voting hiim , what does he have to fear. NOTHING!!!!!!!!!! Maybe its time for Timmy to go to rehab .

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8topsailwatch(80 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Let's face it. Ryan is an alcoholic and always has excuses for his behavior. It doesn't hurt that you can have Nancy Pelosi call the judge and tell him to release "her boy".

Surely we can find someone better to represent us than this airhead !!

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9CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Lighten up! This country has so many fiscal and social problems it can drive a congressman to drink!!! And for god's sake we all know the history of those Lexington, VA cops that go around arresting people suffering from back pain in public.

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10walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm definitely no fan of Little Timmy Ryan but this is being blown way out of proportion. He was WALKING down the street not driving an auto. He was at a wedding celebation and probably had a little too much to drink . Maybe mixed it up with a pain killer and he was having trouble walking. So what? Its not like he was receiving oral sex in his office by an intern.

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11pjohn(25 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

If that's the worst our Rep. does, I'm grateful.

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12JoeDirt35(17 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Thank goodness he is a liberal and does not support the 2nd Amendment and own a gun, because he could have shot up the whole town,BLAMING it on the gun maker and showing no personal responsibility.

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13CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Walter, why not just say that then? Instead of covering it up until after the election and then blaming it on the police. President Clinton, whom I like very much, brought much hot water to himself by not just stating the truth when he screwed up. No one is saying congressman aren't allowed to drink. If they are doing their jobs, then whatever. Oh wait, these guys are the most do nothing congress in history. Now that combined with a drunk and disorderly might indicate that someone needs to be put into "time out" for awhile and let a real adult try the job.

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14borylie(953 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

There's government ( the ruling class),the elite(movie stars,sport stars and entertainers) and the rest of us. To which class do you belong?

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15redeye1(5683 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I have to wonder what else Timmy might be hiding. Is he a addicted to the pain pills?

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16YSUPenguins(16 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

My friend that just got a DUI wants to change his guilty plea to a bad back plea. Come on Tim, we're not that stupid!!

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17chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Ryan should get the full, unredacted police report and release it to the public.

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18republicanRick(1743 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm not a fan of Tim Ryan but c'mon. The guy is walking down the street with friends and is staggering some and the cops pull him over? Even if Tim had a few too many cocktails, where's the harm? He had friends, he was walking on a main road, he wasn't causing a disturbance. They wasted cop time and court time on this?

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19andersonathan(687 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Refusing a breathalyzer sealed the deal for me. I think it leaves the door open. Of course we will never know the truth then, Timmy's word VS ?????

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