Pr. George's Lobbyist Convicted of DUI...Again
A lobbyist who has worked for the Prince George's County Council and the sheriff's office pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence, the latest in a string of similar charges against him dating back to the early 1990s.
David A. Jacobs, of Mitchellville, represented the County Council, sheriff's office, the Town of Colmar Manor and a developer in the last state legislative session. On April 29, he lost control of his sport utility vehicle, collided with a guard rail and another vehicle, and ended up on the median of the road, authorities said.
Still, the County Council has not ruled out re-hiring him next year. Council spokeswoman Karen Campbell said contracts have not been finalized and the nine-member body needs time to confer in light of what happened in court Tuesday.
"I think it's a little premature," Campbell said. "The Council needs to take a look at exactly what happened."
Jacobs lobbied for the Council from 2006 through this year, earning $36,000 a year for each of the last two years.
Jacobs, who appeared in Prince George's District Court Tuesday in a suit and tie, was led away in handcuffs after Judge Hassan A. El-Amin accepted his plea and revoked his bond.
Jacobs was then taken to the Calvert County Detention Center, "to avoid any semblance of impropriety," his lawyer said, because Jacobs's wife, county school board chairwoman Verjeana M. Jacobs (At Large), also works for the Prince George's County Department of Corrections. According to her online profile, she, "serves as Chief of the Office of Professional Responsibility & Legal Affairs Division at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel."
Jacobs is due back in court Nov. 18. Though he was not formally sentenced Tuesday, El-Amin said he intends at that time to put Jacobs in an in-patient treatment program for at least four weeks, and to place him on supervised probation for three years. The maximum sentence for the DUI charge is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Three other traffic violations from the incident were set aside by the prosecution, but can be brought back for up to one year if prosecutors wish.
Jacobs's attorney, Thomas C. Mooney, asked that his client get work-release privileges, an idea the prosecutor strongly opposed.
"He is a subsequent offender," said assistant state's attorney Sherrie M. Waldrup. "He is a danger to the citizens of the state. ... He has done it more than five times in the past."
Mooney said the fact that his client "labors from a disease" doesn't mean he's a danger to society.
El-Amin denied the work release.
"Mr. Jacobs...needs a wake-up call, and I'm not talking about an alarm clock going off at 5:30 in the morning to go to work," El-Amin said. "I'm talking about the door shutting and him being in jail."
Still, Waldrup told the judge the expected sentence is one that, "if anything, is going easy" given Jacobs's multiple offenses.
El-Amin came under fire by law enforcement officials earlier this year for letting a murder defendant be released on bond.
Prior to the plea, Campbell said in an e-mail that while the contracts for next year's General Assembly lobbyists are not finalized, the Council would, "take any action they deem necessary to resolve the situation" if "a personal issue were to get in the way of [Jacobs] serving our citizens."
Asked later if the latest guilty plea qualified as such a personal issue, Campbell said she had to confer with the council before commenting.
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