“Most DUI cases…take around 60 days” – Ted Asregadoo, PIO, CCCDA’s Office
By Allen D. Payton
Two months after Antioch Mayor Thorpe was arrested for DUI on March 19, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office announced on Friday, May 20, 2022, that was charged on April 1. Thorpe was charged with two offenses including “Driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage VC 23152 (a)” and “Driving with a .08% blood alcohol content VC 23152 (b)”. See related articles here, here and here.
Following is the press release from Ted Asregadoo, Public Information Officer for the DA’s office:
Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe was charged with two Misdemeanor counts of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol on April 1, 2022.
The Office of the District Attorney of Contra Costa County received a referral from the California Highway Patrol on March 23, 2022, on two violations of California Vehicle Code 23152 (a) and 23152 (b) that occurred on March 19, 2022, in Pleasant Hill.
After an evaluation, a charging decision was made on the following counts:
Count 1 – Driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage VC 23152 (a)
Count 2 – Driving with a .08% blood alcohol content VC 23152 (b)
The case has been submitted to the Superior Court of Contra Costa County and a Notice to Appear will be issued by the Court.
DA’s Office Responds to Questions About Timing of Press Release and Charges
The following questions were sent Saturday morning to District Attorney Diana Becton’s personal email and through Asregadoo:
“Why, if Mayor Thorpe was charged on April 1, did you just send out the press release about it, yesterday? Was it favoritism for a political ally? Did he ask you to hold it until after the May 11 deadline for submitting his recall signature petitions? Did you choose to hold it for that reason without his request? Or does the process usually take that long in a DUI case? Are elected officials, either political allies or not, treated like any other person your office prosecutes?”
Asregadoo responded, “To inform the public that misdemeanor charges were issued against Mr. Thorpe April 1, 2022. Last week, some media outlets echoed false claims the DA’s Office was not filing charges. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office fairly, ethically, aggressively, and efficiently prosecutes those who violate the law. Most DUI cases (from arrest to issuance of charges) take around 60 days. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It depends on how many DUI cases a Deputy DA is managing. The mission of the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is to seek justice and enhance public safety for all our residents by fairly, ethically, aggressively, and efficiently prosecuting those who violate the law, and by working to prevent crime.”
Regarding the charges they were asked, “how does your office know Mr. Thorpe only consumed ‘an alcoholic beverage’ that night? Do you have witness testimony from whom he claimed to be having dinner, and/or the server or bartender at the establishment who served them? Do you know for sure that he wasn’t at any other establishment(s) consuming alcoholic beverages with others? Is the second charge a standard charge for a BAC of .08% or higher? Or is that the exact level that the CHP measured in his chemical test they administered to him, that night?”
Asregadoo responded simply, “We don’t comment on evidence related to an active court case.”
Questions for Thorpe Go Unanswered
The following questions were sent Saturday morning to Thorpe via email giving him or his attorney until 3:00 p.m. to respond:
Do you have any comments you would like to include from either you or your attorney?
Also, what was your blood alcohol content that the CHP measured in your chemical test they administered? Was it only .08% as stated in the DA’s press release or was it higher and if so, what was the level?
Why if you were charged on April 1 was this just released by the DA’s office, yesterday? Did you ask them to hold it until after the May 11 recall signature gathering deadline?”
Thorpe was asked additional questions that he had previously been asked but have to date gone unanswered:
“Did you have more than one drink that night? With whom did you have dinner and a drink Friday night/Saturday morning? Is that friend willing to corroborate your claim of you only having one alcoholic beverage?
Where did you eat dinner and have a drink? Will the server or bartender corroborate your story?
How long were you at the establishment? Did you go to more than one restaurant or bar that night? Did you or the person you had dinner with pay with cash or by credit/debit card? Did either one of you keep the receipt(s) from your dinner and drink?
Are you willing to provide copies of the receipt(s) for the public to see to support your claim of only having one drink? At what time do you remember having the drink and finishing it?
Did you consume any alcoholic beverages at those or any restaurants or bars, either in Antioch or anywhere else on Friday, prior to leaving Antioch and East County and arriving at the location where you claim you had dinner with a friend and ‘the drink’?
Who drove you home from the CHP office in Martinez? Were you still inebriated at that time? Have you ever been stopped before for driving under the influence? Have you ever claimed to be inebriated at the time you were accused of another crime?”
No responses were received from Thorpe as of 1:30 PM on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Please check back later for any updates to this report.