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Grand Island mayor appears in court
Residents of Grand Island have been waiting weeks for the blood alcohol results of Mayor Jay Vavricek. That wait is over.
Mayor Vavricek was composed in court Wednesday. He was also accompanied by his wife. He made a plea agreement with the Howard County Attorney David Schroeder and Vavricek is now subject to several hundred dollars in fines.
After being pulled over in Howard County by a state trooper for suspicion of DUI on Saturday night March 2nd, a calm yet poised Mayor Vavricek made his first court appearance.
It took more than two weeks for the Howard County Attorney to file charges.
And his blood alcohol content was a mystery until the Attorney said in court .093. The legal limit is .08.
In exchange for not filing DUI charges, Vavricek entered a no contest plea to reckless driving charges, a class three misdemeanor.
And the state asked that Vavricek be fined $400.
But Judge Tami Schendt did not agree to the initial plea agreement.
Instead, the Judge charged him $500 dollars in fines plus court costs and lab fees.
After the plea deal Vavricek told the court "I am humbled to be here, I regret and I am sorry for what occurred. It will never happen again and I appreciate your understanding."
Outside of the courtroom residents say the punishment doesn't fit the crime.
"Anybody that blows or has a blood alcohol level content above legal limit should be tried with DUI and not given the chance to come up with a plea agreement," said Bobbey Joe Olinger.
Howard County Attorney David Schroeder declined to speak on camera but said "I treated this case like I would every other case, given the total circumstances involved I consider the probability of getting a conviction and criminal history."
Based on the details released in court Mayor Vavricek has no criminal history.
Still, residents aren't convinced.
I'd like to know why somebody with a title is given special privileges why somebody with a political standing not held to the same rights or the same laws that bound the rest of us.
As the chief city official of Grand Island exits the courtroom with his wife he leaves with no further comment.
Mayor Vavricek's fines were paid in full Wednesday.
But conversations continue to surface about Vavricek's personal life and what's next for the city of Grand Island.
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