The day after being charged by an Atlanta police officer with driving under the influence, city council woman Cleta Winslow sat in a previously scheduled budget hearing for the city’s police department.
Winslow was arrested and hit with a battery of traffic charges late Tuesday night, including driving under the influence of alcohol and driving on the wrong side of the road, police said.
Her arrest comes just as each incumbent member of the council is preparing for re-election this November.
Winslow’s attorney, Antavius M. Weems, said Winslow would have no comment Wednesday on the arrest but she has scheduled an 11 a.m. news confrence at his ofice Thursday.
According to Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones, an officer patrolling the area of Oglethorpe Avenue and Peeples Street at around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday “noticed a gray Honda Accord commit multiple traffic violations.”
After stopping the car and talking to Winslow, who was driving, “he noticed that the driver showed signs of impairment,” Jones said.
“Ms. Winslow admitted to having a few drinks,” Jones said. “But refused to do any field sobriety test.”
Winslow was arrested and charged with DUI Alcohol Less Safe, driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to stop for stop sign, reckless driving and a red light violation.
Winslow, a member of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, was booked into the Atlanta Pretrial Detention Center, and released on $3,355 bond. At the budget hearing Wednesday she took her normal seat in the city council chamber while police brass made their budget pitch.
Winslow is Atlanta’s former neighborhood planning unit coordinator and was elected in 1993 to represent District 4, which includes the West End, Oakland City, Mechanicsville and Adair Park. She is the second most senior member of council behind C.T. Martin.
In 2010, Winslow drew an ethic violations fine for spending $5,420 in taxpayers’ money on her 2009 re-election campaign.
In paying the fine, Winslow acknowledged that the city reimbursed her for $1,700 to design and print a campaign newsletter and $3,720 to distribute it door-to-door in the four days preceding the November 2009 election. She returned the money and paid a $1,500 fine.
Winslow still had a tough campaign, collecting 53 percent of the 2009 vote against three opponents. She managed to avoid a runoff, but she had the tightest race among council incumbents.
Her only challenger for the 2013 race so far is Torry Lewis, who in 2006 ran unsuccessfully for the Georgia State House of Representatives.
Atlanta officials reserved comment on the arrest but offered suport to her.
City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell said early Wednesday he had not yet spoken to Winslow who he called councilwoman and neighbor. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Councilwoman and her family,” said Mitchell who said he planned to call her later.
Added Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, “I appreciate Councilwoman Cleta Winslow’s long service to the city of Atlanta and her dedication to her constituents I will reserve further comment as the judicial process runs its course.”
Staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this article.
Enjoy expanded coverage of college football for UGa, Tech and the SEC, with our SEC Insider, covering all Southeastern Conference matchups and articles by AJC staff and regional newspapers that cover the SEC.