Police: Berlin town councilor was well over DUI limit

Published on Tuesday, 9 January 2018 22:49
Written by Charles Paullin

Staff Writer

BERLIN - The Town Council member charged with drunken driving early Saturday had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system when she was stopped by police, according to a police report released Tuesday.

JoAnn Angelico-Stetson, 56, of East Berlin, was pulled over in the southbound lane of the Berlin Turnpike and the intersection of Middletown Road at 12:28 a.m., according to the summary of the arrest police provided Saturday.

Angelico-Stetson, a Democrat in her first term on the council, appeared confused and unsteady on her feet as she performed field sobriety tests, the arrest report stated.

Angelico-Stetson was driving a rental car when she was pulled over for a routine traffic infraction. She couldn’t immediately provide the rental contract to her car, which the officer found in “plain sight” in the glove box, the report stated.

While being processed at the police station, her blood-alcohol content was initially 0.175, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 for driving, over an hour after the Berlin police officer first noticed Angelico-Stetson’s car.

It took two tests, with multiple attempts, to administer the breath test. She called two attorneys before the test, police said.

She was charged with operating under the influence and failure to use a turn signal. She was released on $500 nonsurety bond and is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court Jan. 17.

State Department of Motor Vehicles officials said she had no previous traffic violations.

Angelico-Stetson accepted responsibility for the incident in a statement issued to The Herald Sunday.

“I deeply regret my actions and fully accept all responsibility and consequences. My work on behalf of the Town of Berlin and its residents will not change based on this isolated incident,” Angelico-Stetson said. “My commitment and dedication to this community will continue. I humbly ask for your support as I deal with this matter constructively and proactively.”

Republican Town Committee Chairwoman Anne Reilly called for Angelico-Stetson’s resignation Tuesday.

“In regard to council member and longtime Board of Education member JoAnn Angelico-Stetson’s recent arrest I am very surprised and disappointed that she drove around the town at night inebriated,” said Reilly. “This could’ve ended in more disastrous results. It was grossly negligent and highly irresponsible. As an elected official, I feel elected council members should be held to a high standard and I do think she should resign for the best interest of our community and for our young people.”

Reilly said if council members want people to follow the laws, they have set an example.

Angelico-Stetson said Tuesday night after a joint Town Council/Board of Finance meeting that she has “no intention of resigning.”

“I will continue to do my very best on behalf of the town that I love serving,” she said.

Acting Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Kathy O’Donnell Moss said Sunday that Angelico-Stetson has “been a dedicated public servant to the town of Berlin. I and the Democratic Town Committee will continue to support her.”

The police department initially declined to release her arrest report. It was received by The Herald Tuesday morning after the paper was told to submit a Freedom of Information request.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin on Tuesday, 9 January 2018 22:49. Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2018 22:52.