Two relatives of York County elected officials have avoided conviction on their drunken-driving charges by being accepted into a diversionary court program.
Jonathan Eli Kearney, 25, the son of District Attorney Tom Kearney, and Jacqueline Marie Bortner, 48, the wife of York County Judge Michael E. Bortner, were accepted into the county's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.
ARD allows first-time non-violent offenders to avoid conviction by instead completing court-ordered requirements.
Defendants accepted into the program do not have to admit guilt. Once successfully completed, their cases can be expunged.
Both Jon Kearney and Jacqueline Bortner were prosecuted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, after the York County district attorney's office recused itself from the cases.
Deputy attorney general Clarke Madden said both were eligible for ARD under York County's criteria for the program.
Both will be on probation for a year, lose their driver's licenses for 60 days, perform 35 hours of community service, attend DUI classes and a victim impact panel, and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and comply with any recommended counseling, according to records.
Kearney case: Defense attorney Ed Paskey, representing Jon Kearney, said his client has no record and was an appropriate candidate for ARD.
"He was treated by the attorney general's office the same way that any person in his position should be treated," Paskey said.
Court documents allege a Springettsbury Township police officer saw Kearney make a left turn on Haines Road while accelerating rapidly about 2 a.m. Nov. 12. Kearney, of Bridlewood Way in the township, also didn't use his turn signal within the required 100 feet of the intersection onto Greensprings Drive, police allege.
His blood-alcohol level was later determined to be 0.164 percent, police said. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.
Jon Kearney previously told The York Dispatch he would take full responsibility for his actions.
Bortner case: Shortly after charges were filed against Jacqueline Bortner, defense attorney Chris Ferro said she would take responsibility for her actions, which he described as "an isolated mistake."
Court documents allege Jacqueline Bortner was pulled over by police on Mount Zion Road at Concord Road in Springettsbury Township about 10:05 p.m. Nov. 28 for driving erratically.
Her blood-alcohol level was later determined to be 0.22 percent, documents state.
In York County, DUI defendants with no prior record routinely are admitted into the ARD program, as long as they didn't cause an injury crash.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at email@example.com, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.