A Bethlehem firefighter who is the chairman of the city Democratic Party was arrested and charged with drunken driving on Thursday, according to The Express-Times.
James Schlener, 41, of 617 Second Ave., Bethlehem, struck a utility pole with his 2011 Jeep Wrangler on the 1000 block of Eighth Avenue at 10:55 p.m. Thursday, said.
The Eighth Avenue on-ramp to Route 378 north was closed for more than 12 hours because of the wreck, the newspaper reported. Schlener was driving with a blood-alcohol level of .256 percent, which is more than three times the state’s legal driving limit of .08 percent.
Schlener has been suspended from his job with pay, the newspaper reported, quoting city Community and Economic Development Director Joe Kelly. He had been out sick since Tuesday.
Schlener is the former president of the city’s firefighters union who currently serves as its political director, The Morning Call reported.
Schlener was union president in 2004 when he was arrested for punching his girlfriend several times and smashing a glass candleholder over her head at their home, the newspaper reported. He was admitted to the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition program for first-time offenders in Lehigh County.