Friday, June 24, 2005
Moore pleads guilty to DUI
By LEE WILLIAMS
The Union City mayor who was hired by the Tyrone Town Council in mid-May to assist with town planning matters wont face any jail time for his involvement in a drunken driving case that damaged three vehicles and injured three people, a judge decided this month.
However, Fulton County State Court Judge Penny Brown Reynolds ruled on June 7 that Moore will spend some time on probation and face other penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol on the night of Oct. 15 in College Park.
Moore, the driver of a white 2001 Land Rover Discovery, encountered police after he plowed into the rear of a 1998 Toyota Corolla driven by Tonitra Foster, 26, of Garden City, which in turn collided into the rear of a 2001 Hyundai Elantra driven by Monica Prather, 18, of College Park, according to Fulton County police.
The accident occurred north of the Crowes Nest, a nightclub in College Park. Moore told police he had been drinking and allegedly told police that he just wanted to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, when police attempted to give him a field sobriety test, police said.
Nearly two hours after he was taken into custody, Moores blood alcohol level was found to be .173, more than twice the maximum legal level of .08, according to police reports.
Moore pleaded guilty to DUI. As a result, Brown Reynolds sentenced Moore to serve 12 months probation, pay a $500 fine and complete 48 hours of community service. Moore also will have to receive an alcohol and drug evaluation and attend risk reduction or DUI school, Brown Reynolds case manager Lovie Grant said. A following too closely charge was merged into the other charge, Grant added.
Moores trial was originally scheduled for 9 a.m. June 27. However, the case was added on to the June 7 calendar, Grant said.
The case against Moore has been adjudicated, but Tyrone Town Council officials are still mulling over what to do with Moore, the president of the Union City-based Caram & Associates, who was hired as a contract employee.
Moore will receive $60 per hour plus expenses or $200 per case and expenses for rezoning/zoning variance evaluations. He will receive $60 per hour plus expenses or $200 per case and expenses for plan reviews. He will receive $6,500 plus expenses for assisting with the comprehensive plan update and $50 per hour plus expenses for general planning advisory, according to his proposal.
Following a regular council meeting June 16, Mayor Sheryl Lee and the rest of the council stated they had no idea that Moore had been charged with DUI. The case was still open when he came to work for the town on May 19.
We were not aware of it, Councilman Paul Letourneau said.
The board unanimously hired Moore.
Letourneau added he did not know if the Town Council will continue to retain Moores services in light of the fact that he allegedly did not disclose his legal problems to them.
I cant comment on it because I dont know at this point what we are going to do, Letourneau said. Im a little disappointed at the way things have happened. I think we all are. I was not aware of the charges pending against the gentleman.
Council members said they also were not aware Moore did not have an active business license when he was hired to work for the Town of Tyrone.
This is news to us, Councilman Mike Smola said.
Moore received his license 15 days after he was hired by the Town of Tyrone, according to Union City officials.
According to information obtained by The Citizen, Caram & Associates first applied for a business license on June 11, 1996 and it was active through Dec. 31, 1997. The license was reactivated on April 25, 2003 and it was active through Dec. 31, 2003. The license was reactivated on June 3.
Union City Councilwoman Helen Turner discovered Moore didnt have a business license after a citizen asked her to check into it. Moore retained one shortly after addressing Turner about the matter, she said.
I called City Hall and I asked if they could look up and see whether they had a license in the name of Caram & Associates, Turner said. They told me no. She didnt see anything on the computer. I asked her could they look in the file. She said OK, then she got back on the phone and said, Can I have your number. She said there was not a license under any one of those names, Ralph Moore or (Moores wife) Camilla.
The next voice I hear is Ralph Moore, Turner said on the June 1 telephone call. Ralph Moore called me at my home. He said I heard you have been inquiring about me. He said Why didnt you call me and ask me? I would have told you, and he said I was going to get a license, but I was waiting to get a contract.
Moore indicated when contacted about the matter that he only gets a business license when needed.
My planning business is just one of many businesses that I have and I only get a business license when in fact I have a job, Moore said.
However, according to information featured on the Union City government Web site, all businesses are required to maintain a license.
Every business located in Union City, including any business located outside the city, but engaged in business within the city, is required to have a business license from the city, the Web site said. Application forms are provided by the city to corporations and individuals interested in doing business and must be completed prior to opening a new business.
Copyright 2004-Fayette Publishing, Inc.