Archived Story

Mayor pleads guilty to DUI

Published 11:23am Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blankenship to lose license for at least 30 days


Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless operation of a vehicle during an appearance Wednesday morning in Greenup County, Ky., District Court.

Judge Brian McCloud suspended Blankenship’s driver’s license 30 days but said that is the amount of time Kentucky requires and Ohio, the state that issued Blankenship’s license, may require more.

McCloud also fined the mayor $200 and ordered him to pay $375 in court costs. Blankenship will have to take a substance abuse class to get his license reinstated.

After the hearing, Blankenship apologized for the incident.

“I’m human and I made a mistake,” he said. “I do not condone this behavior and I took full responsibility for it today. I did as I would have expected anyone else to do. It will not happen again. From here I want to move forward and do the best I can to lead the city of Ironton.”

In the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 5, Blankenship was pulled over in Worthington, Ky., while traveling southbound on U.S. 23.

The then-Raceland, Ky., officer John Ross stated in his report that he “observed Blankenship cross the outside lines of the roadway more than 10 times” and that they drove a half a mile before Ross was able to get the mayor to pull over.

Blankenship was taken first to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital for a blood alcohol test, which Ross said the mayor refused. Blankenship was then arrested and taken to the Greenup County Detention Center.


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  • swimmingupstream

    Good night people, why would he worry about getting reelected; he can’t seek the office any more because he’s termlimited to 8 years and he’s now in year 5 or so.

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  • Tiger Forever

    I totally agree with Tom! I am an Ironton native and have numerous family members who still live in Ironton.I live out of state,but come home often. I have observed the city’s progress and improvements before and since Mayor Blankenship’s election. I have talked with several people about his performance and about the city’s progress,and have concluded that Mayor Blankenship is an asset to Ironton and I’m quite proud he is mayor of my hometown.He truly cares for this city,and works hard for its people,and yes,he is only human,like the rest of us.He has paid his penalty and should be given the opportunity to get on with business and get on with hie life,without being slammed on the front page of the Ironton Tribune!

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  • bigkahuna

    The Greenup County Kentucky District Court has settled its problem with the Mayor so he should move forward and not ever do it again.

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    • indieVoter

      If he wants people to vote for him ever again then he needs to tell the community, on the record, that this is the first time in his life that he’s gotten a DUI.

      If he can’t say that then why should anyone let him off the hood with some kind of promise that “I’ll never do it again.”

      Giving Blankenship another chance contingent upon him stating unequivocally that this was the first DUI he’s ever had in his lifetime is a pretty fair deal for him.

      Not saying that anyone is trying to do so, but attempting to protect him from having to address this question is really just a red flag that the priority is what’s best for Rich instead of what’s right.

      If Richard Blankenship has nothing to hide then he should welcome this opportunity.

      Until/unless we have specific reason to believe otherwise, possibly including his refusal to address this question, then I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  • anewchance

    Do you say just forgive him and forget about it to the other people who have been charged with DUI. I think not, it usually costs them at least $1000.00 or more, they go to jail and they lose their license then put on probation. As far as his picture being put on the page, he is after all a leader in the community who is in the lime light. He should be a member of the community who is setting examples for others, not drinking and driving. Too many public officials think they don’t have to obey the law because they can get out of it. Not fair. He should get the same as other drunk drivers get, however, I’m not so niave to know because he is mayor, his hands will get slapped and that is all.

    Totally unfair, however if u r in the inner circle, do what u want, get your hands slapped, and keep on going.

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  • indieVoter

    Let us move ahead? Should we all just forgive him and forget about it?? Is it the right thing to do to just remember that we’re all human and let him have another chance at being Ironton’s elected leader???

    Why not. I’m not a fan, personally, but I’d be willing to let him have another chance…in the spirit of fairness…given a few conditions.

    I think he should (and predict he will) write a letter to be published in this newspaper, clarifying a few points. After the per-requisite apologies and explanations of his side of the story, he should be very truthful as to whether or not he has ever before had a DUI. If he has not had another DUI in his lifetime, not just the 6 or 7 years it takes them to drop off your record, but if he’s never had even one before in his entire lifetime then we should give him another chance.

    If he cannot state that, unequivocally and on the record, then we should not give him another chance at being mayor…in my opinion. Of course he’s not on the ballot this year so it’s a moot point for now, but the whole “I’m only human” and “we all make mistakes” justification only holds water if he’s never, ever made this exact same mistake before.

    So, mayor, we look forward to hearing from you here soon and giving you a big, fat, bi-partisan second chance as long as you can testify that this was the first and only DUI in your life.

    It’s good to forgive.

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  • bigkahuna

    I hope you have learned from this Rich and will never ever do that again. Now let us move ahead.

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