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Athens-Clarke County commissioner's DUI case headed to trial


District 1 Commissioner Patrick Davenport

By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke County District 1 Commissioner Patrick Davenport is taking to trial a DUI case that stemmed from his arrest last month.

According to court documents, the case was transferred for trial from Municipal Court to State Court on Sept. 21.

The commissioner’s attorney, Jeff Rothman, declined to comment on the pending case.

However, according to Athens defense attorney Morris “Mo” Wiltshire, Davenport’s case could not remain in Municipal Court because as a county employee who was nominated by the mayor and approved by the County Commission, the court’s judge is essentially subordinate to Davenport.

He said a Municipal Court judge from another jurisdiction could be brought in for the case, but since Davenport’s court filings indicate he has demanded a jury trial, Municipal Court does not conduct jury trials like State Court does.

A trial date had not been scheduled as of Friday.

When Davenport was arrested on Sept. 18, he had nearly three times the amount of alcohol in his system than is legally allowed for driving, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

After he was found lying back in the driver’s seat of his disabled SUV, Davenport was administered a breath test that indicated his blood-alcohol concentration was .216 percent, according to the report.

The maximum legal limit for driving is .08 percent.

Davenport admitted that he had been drinking, but did not remember how much, according to the report, which noted the 42-year-old commissioner was unable to maintain balance during a roadside sobriety test that the officer stopped out of concern for Davenport’s safety.

When the officer responded shortly after midnight to a report of a drunk driver at the U.S. National Poultry Research Center on College Station Road, he saw the that both tires on the driver’s side of Davenport’s SUV had been “popped,” according to the police report.

Davenport has not commented about his arrest and referred questions to Rothman, his attorney.

“Mr. Davenport is presumed to be innocent,” Rothman said soon after his client was arrested.

“We will be conducting an investigation concerning the circumstances surrounding his arrest and will have more to say when that investigation is complete,” the attorney said.

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7 Comments


Hard to believe he might be the most conservative commissioner. Athens has become Little Portland.

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The fact that a jury trial demand was filed does not mean that the Defendant intends to take the case all they way to trial. This is a common procedural tactic to move the case from Municipal Court to State Court, which was likely done for strategic purposes and possibly for the purpose of avoiding the judge's conflict mentioned in the article. There will likely be more legal proceedings before reaching the point of a jury trial, such as a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence and other such motions. Be patient and let the judicial process play out.

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John Mosby
John Mosby
Oct 15, 2021
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Agreed. He is compromised and vulnerable to coercion and blackmail; until this matter is settled.

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John Mosby
John Mosby
Oct 15, 2021

Hey Patrick, thats a lot of booze! It happens though. Go ahead and plead guilty; because you are. Ask for leniency. By taking responsibility for your decisions, telling the truth; You could be a much needed roll model for the black community of the area. I suspect that you are demanding a jury trial in hopes that the black jury members will possibly find you not guilty for the mere fact that you are black. Not likely, It could have been their family you wiped out that night.

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Mia Pope
Mia Pope
Oct 16, 2021
Replying to

Really!!!

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