DUI Case of GOP Operative Transferred

(HorizonPost.com) – A special prosecutor from outside of Delaware County, Ohio has been assigned to the case of an influential Delaware County Republican operative who is charged with driving under the influence with a firearm in her vehicle.

Gwen Howe-Gebers, the Henry County Prosecuting Attorney, will review the case against Republican operative Catherine Nelson, who last Wednesday filed a motion in a Delaware County municipal court to have the evidence from her April 19 traffic stop suppressed.

Nelson was arrested after a motorist in Genoa Township contacted the police at around 10:00 p.m. on April 19 to report a vehicle that had crossed into the oncoming left turn lanes, nearly striking another vehicle. Nelson then continued to repeatedly cross the center line and even drove in the oncoming lanes, according to the 911 caller.

When officers stopped Nelson, they reported noting the smell of alcohol both in her vehicle and on her breath. They repeatedly asked Nelson if she had been drinking. At first, Nelson denied drinking but a few minutes later, she admitted that she had a drink in the afternoon. Later, she admitted to having a glass of wine with dinner.

Nelson refused to submit to a breathalyzer test but failed the field sobriety test. During the traffic stop, the officers found a bottle of liquor and a 9 mm Ruger in the driver’s side door. Under state law, motorists are prohibited to carry a firearm in the vehicle if they are impaired.

Nelson also told the officers that she had undergone a medical procedure earlier in the day for which she was prescribed codeine for the pain.

She later recanted both her statements about drinking at dinner and taking codeine.

The municipal judge ordered the case to be transferred from Delaware County to Henry County near Toledo after the prosecutors and judges in Delaware County, who are all Republicans, recused themselves from the case.

While she has never held public office, the 68-year-old Nelson has been an influential part of Delaware County Republican Party politics for years, helping to select candidates and organizing fundraisers.

No date has yet to be scheduled for Nelson’s next court appearance.

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