Archived Story

Council member charged with OWI

Published 11:28pm Monday, March 14, 2011

Niles City Council member Tim Skalla’s arrest and charge of operating while intoxicated Feb. 25 may not have any effect on the public official’s representation of the Fourth Ward.


But if any consequences in regard to Skalla’s position are to be had, that decision will be up to the council.
Skalla, 58, was arrested following a two-vehicle accident on West River Road. According to the arrest report and the court filings, the accident occurred at approximately 5:15 p.m. At that time, the investigating trooper reported he “could smell strong odor of intoxicants coming from his breath,” according to the police report.
Skalla was asked to perform three sobriety tests of which he reportedly did poorly before submitting to a Breathalyzer.
The councilman blew a 0.07 percent blood alcohol level, just short of the state’s minimum to be considered drinking and driving.
“I had a problem,” he said Monday. “I blew a 0.07 and it’s working its way through the court system. I’ll know more once it has.”
According to the court filings, Skalla was taken to the Niles City Jail at the time of the accident and bonded out for $100.
He entered a plea of not guilty, acquired representation by Niles attorney Tim Dowling and has demanded a jury trial. He waits a pretrial hearing March 23, a status conference April 15 and a jury trial April 21.
Skalla has no prior offenses. He reportedly told police at the scene that he had consumed three beers and was returning from Jay’s Lounge on South 11th Street in Niles Township.
“I’m sorry it happened,” Skalla said.

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