By JOHN T. WARD
A video showing Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich under arrest for driving while intoxicated in 2011 is “making its rounds among Monmouth County’s politically connected,” the Asbury Park Press reported Friday.
On its website, the newspaper includes a link to the video on YouTube, but YouTube shows the video as having been removed by the user, who is not identified.
The Press reports that State Police troopers stopped Zipprich for driving a white Ford Escape the wrong way on a Garden State Parkway off-ramp in Irvington just after 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 10, 2011.
He was charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to breath tests, careless driving and driving the wrong way on a one-way street, the newspaper said.
The DWI and the wrong-way driving charges were later dismissed in Irvington Municipal Court, the Press said. Zipprich pleaded guilty on February 7, 2012 to refusing to submit to breath tests and careless driving charge, the newspaper reported.
From the Press:
He paid $528 in fines for the two charges, had his license suspended for seven months followed by six months with an interlock device, which requires drivers to submit to a breath test before starting the vehicle, in his car and was ordered to complete 12 hours at an Intoxicated Driver Program.
All provisions were completed, court officials said.
The Press did not say who shot the video or describe the contents of the half-hour video, which it said was posted on on YouTube on July 31.
The Press said Zipprich acknowledged the arrest,:
“Three years ago, I made a major mistake which I regret. It was careless and I spend every day trying to be a better person and work to make sure will never happen again,” Zipprich said in an emailed statement.
He also blamed unnamed political opponents for posting the video.
“It is sad that the Red Bank Republicans are not focusing on my record as a councilman, where we have stabilized taxes, made Red Bank a center of arts and entertainment and reduced town debt.”
Along with Councilwoman Juanita Lewis and Mayor Pasquale Menna, Zipprich is up for re-election on November 4. He and Lewis face Republicans Linda Schwabenbauer and Sean Di Somma on the ballot; Menna is unopposed.
Di Somma and Schwabenbauer said they had seen the video but were not responsible for its publication, and had agreed between themselves not to make an issue of Zipprich’s arrest.
“I’m going to judge Ed on his record in Red Bank, not on that kind of stuff,” Di Somma told the Press. “This is a council seat. No one is running for president here. I could be more helpful if you wanted to talk about property taxes.”
Last year, during Di Somma’s unsuccessful first run for council, Monmouth County Democrats branded him a wanted man over a disputed traffic warrant in Texas.