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Police: City Firefighter, Dem Party Chairman DUI

James Schlener, former president of city firefighters union, is suspended from his job as a result of drunken driving arrest Thursday night.

 

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.

Staberdearth August 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Let's refrain from party affiliation here. This guy stands on his own as to his poor choices in life. Is it a one time mistake or a pattern? If this were a Republican (or Repuke as some of you are wont to say) you would most likely be making some sort of reaching connection to Romney and Ryan and how they sanction drunk driving. See how stupid you can look?
Staberdearth August 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM
"... 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..." This had been my experience with the behavior of union thug leaders in the UMWA. Heck, one of their finest, Tony Boyle, didn't slap his woman around, he assassinated his opponent, Jock Yablonski... Schlener sounds like two bit troubled soul. You make your own connections. Remember, it is these sorts who are at the pinnacle of union power. Hot heads? You decide.
Keith August 25, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Career choice, party affiliation, and union positions, all aside. This man made a very bad choice, and now must face the consiquences he brought upon himself. Let's not turn one persons bad decision into stereotypical commentary for any group. It's not fair to the law abiding members of such parties who strive to avoid these types of entanglements in their lives.

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