Channel 2 Action News has learned prosecutors have taken a potential plea deal for a Clayton County commissioner off the table.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne reported Thursday morning that prosecutors offered to drop charges of DUI, obstruction and failure to drive within lane against Wole Ralph if he pleaded guilty to reckless driving. However, just a few hours later Winne learned that the Solicitor's Office and a judge decided to proceded with the case against Ralph and to move the case from Atlanta Municipal Court to Fulton County Court because of Ralph's relationship with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
“I don’t have a DUI to go forward on,” Senior Assistant Atlanta City Solicitor Shemia Francisco told Winne Thursday morning. Francisco said there is not enough evidence to get a drunken driving conviction because Ralph was not asked standard questions “that would build a case for the prosecution.”
“My hands are tied,” she added.
Francisco told Winne a field sobriety test was not administered. A Feb. 18 police report suggests officers “could smell an overwhelming odor of alcohol coming from Mr. Ralph’s (breath) as well as his person. We immediately read Mr. Ralph implied consent to which he refused all related DUI testing including field sobriety as well as a breathalyzer.”
In a past statement Ralph said, “I deeply regret this occurrence. I am not guilty of these violations and I look forward to resolving this matter in court.”