SEABROOK – Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin was charged with DUI early last week, court documents show.
Police reports state that Franklin, who represents the 9th District, was arrested Nov. 22 after a traffic accident on southbound MD 4 at Dower House Road.
He faces charges of driving while impaired by alcohol; driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; negligent driving of a vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner endangering property, life and person; and failure to control vehicle speed on a highway to avoid collision. The documents note the four citations were issued by a Maryland State Police officer at 1:34 a.m.
State Police Spokesman Greg Shipley provided a statement about Franklin’s arrest via email. In it, he said state police will consult with the county state’s attorney.
“State police will be consulting with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office regarding possible additional charges,” Shipley said.
Troopers from the MSP Forestville Barrack received a 911 call at 11:34 p.m. on Nov. 21 regarding a traffic crash. The responding trooper found a 2008 Ford Explorer and a 2007 Mercedes S550 had been involved in the crash, with the Explorer running into the rear of the Mercedes that was stopped at a traffic light.
The two occupants of the Mercedes were transported by ambulance to Prince George’s Hospital for treatment of injuries, but the report indicates the driver of the Explorer- later confirmed to be Franklin- was not at the scene.
“A medic gave a description of a man walking (away) from the scene to one of the first arriving troopers. The troopers spotted that individual about 70 yards away walking in the center median, before crossing the northbound lanes and walking along the shoulder,” Shipley said in a statement. “When the trooper first saw him, the person was walking back toward the scene of the crash.”
The trooper spoke with the man and identified him as Franklin. “Signs of possible impairment” led the trooper to investigate further, and Franklin was arrested and taken to Forestville Barrack to be charged and then released to a sober driver.
Franklin was driving a county-owned car at the time of the accident.
County Council Chair Derrick Davis issued a statement this afternoon saying the council is aware of Franklin’s arrest and it “is a legal matter to be addressed by the courts.”
“Council Member Franklin has relinquished the use of his county vehicle and no longer has use of or access to any county-issued vehicle,” the statement continued.
The Sentinel has reached out to Franklin for comment and will update this story with his response.
Franklin, 40, is in his second term on the Prince George’s County Council and chairs the public safety and fiscal management committee. He previously served as chairman of the council from 2013 to 2015, and is rumored to be considering a run for county executive in 2018.
Online records show Franklin was charged with driving at excessive speeds on Crain Highway in January and in March 2014 and paid $90 fines each time.
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