An Akron judge is at the center of controversy over a Copley Township police report that claims she and a public defender were partially-clothed and inside a car that smelled of alcohol.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports Municipal Court Judge Joy Malek Oldfield and Assistant Public Defender Catherine Loya are part of a Copley PD report of a February 5th incident when the car they were in was seen at 1:45 in the morning in a parking lot off Ridgewood Crossing Drive. Officer Thomas Ballinger reported he came upon the car, which was running and had the lights on, and observed a woman's head come up from the back seat and look out the rear window. Ballinger's report says two women put their clothes on and moved to the front seat.
The newspaper reports an attorney representing Oldfield (photo at left, www.lawyer.com) admits she had been drinking that night but John Hill says she was not drunk. He tells the Beacon Journal the judge is "dumbfounded and incredibly upset" by the report, and there is "no unusual or inappropriate relationship" with Loya.
Hill wants an investigation and says Ballinger added details on the incident in a supplemental report filed days later. Copley Police Chief Michael Mier tells the newspaper Ballinger had "no motivation to embellish" the report.
Hill told the newspaper Oldfield and her husband had been socializing that evening with friends, and was upset on learning of a serious illness of a family member. Oldfield's husband, Hill said, went home but urged the judge to remain with friends. Oldfield, Hill told the Beacon Journal, was in the car with Loya and asked her to park the car so she could finish a cigarette and compose herself.
Ballinger's report says Oldfield identified herself as a judge and told the officer she had been drinking. The officer reports he asked Loya to step out of the car and take a breath test, but she refused. She was cited and the case is pending in Barberton Municipal Court.
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