A Clinton County state trooper activated his siren and followed State College Superintendent Richard J. Mextorf for about two miles Nov. 18 before the school administrator would pull over, according to a criminal complaint released Friday.
Mextorf, 48, of Port Matilda, is charged with driving under the influence, careless driving and traveling outside designated traffic lanes, the complaint shows.
State police at Lamar reported earlier this week that Mextorf had been charged with DUI, but the full complaint released Friday illustrates more detail about the incident. Filed at the Mill Hall office of District Judge John W. Maggs, the complaint alleges that Mextorf had a blood-alcohol level of 0.316 percent.
The threshold for DUI in Pennsylvania is 0.08 percent.
According to the complaint, the Clinton County communications center received a report of an erratic driver about 7:20 a.m. Nov. 18. The driver was on U.S. Route 220 and headed south, according to county communications referenced in the complaint.
A witness, George Lamprinos, told authorities that the motorist was “driving into the other southbound lane of traffic, almost striking other units,” the complaints reads. “Also, the defendant was observed leaving the roadway and traveling back onto it.”
The motorist turned onto state Route 64 and soon passed state Trooper Darryl Martin, who had stopped in the area, according to the complaint. That was at roughly 7:45 a.m., the complaint says.
Martin reported that he began following the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee south on state Route 64. In the complaint, he wrote that he activated his lights and siren and “observed the operator cross the center line and the fog line several times.
“The operator would not pull over after following him approximately two miles, so I pulled over into the oncoming lane and drove up beside the operator and motioned him to pull over, which he then pulled into Stover’s Sub Shop parking lot” in Porter Township, the complaint reads.
Martin said he identified the driver as Mextorf and noticed “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage … emitting from his breath, and his eyes appeared to be glassy and bloodshot.
“At that time, I asked Mextorf if he had consumed alcoholic beverages, and he related he did last evening,” the complaint reads. “I had Mextorf exit the vehicle and observed him swaying to keep his balance while walking to the rear of his vehicle.”
Mextorf failed field sobriety tests, Martin wrote. He was taken into custody and driven to Lock Haven Hospital for a blood test, according to the complaint.
He was released to “a friend, Michael Hardy,” at the state police barracks at Lamar at 10:10 a.m. the same day, the complaint says. Hardy is the assistant superintendent in the State College Area School District.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 4 before District Judge Joseph Sanders III. Sanders’ office is in Lock Haven.
Mextorf did not immediately reply to an e-mail message on Friday afternoon, and his home phone number is not listed.
Reached by StateCollege.com, Lamprinos, of Williamsport, said that Mextorf was “all over the road” on Nov. 18 and nearly rear-ended a school bus.
But Mextorf “never exceeded the speed limit,” Lamprinos said. He said the superintendent appeared to be dressed casually, not for work — “unless he cuts grass or something like that.”
In a statement he released earlier this week, Mextorf indicated that he is “embarrassed and ashamed” but intends “to be accountable for my actions.”
“I apologize to the Board of School Directors, the administration, faculty, staff, community, and, most importantly, the students, for letting you down,” he wrote. “Please know that I am taking the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again, and I am counting on the humanity and compassion of the community to see my family and me through this dark time.”
On Wednesday, the school district released a statement noting that the school board is conducting an inquiry. Mextorf told the board on Nov. 19 that he had been cited in a DUI incident, according to that statement.
On Friday afternoon, district spokeswoman Julie Miller released another prepared statement, this one indicating that the school board “has obtained a copy of the criminal complaint.”
“This document contains new facts and information not previously available,” the statement reads. “The board and the district’s solicitor will meet in executive session over the next few days to review all information and to discuss future courses of action. Our conduct in this personnel matter will be guided by district policy, state law and federal law.
“We are mindful of the community’s interest in this issue and we appreciate your tolerance and continuing patience,” the statement goes on. “Further comment will be provided when appropriate.”
Mextorf is on leave from his job, according to the district.