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W.Va. school official faces DUI charges

July 09, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County school officials plan to review the case of an assistant superintendent who was charged with driving under the influence on July 4.

A Berkeley County sheriff's deputy charged Charles A. Fritsch, 52, of Martinsburg, W.Va., with driving under the influence and driving left of center on July 4.

Fritsch was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Fritsch has worked for the Berkeley County school system for 12 years, said Berkeley County schools spokeswoman Mary Jo Brown.

Fritsch is assistant superintendent for personnel, one of three assistant superintendents in the school board administration, Brown said.

Brown said that under state law, in order for a school employee to be disciplined, the incident has to be related to a school event, on school property or done in the capacity of the employee's job.

"This happened at a time and place separate from his employment," Brown said.

Brown said school officials had not received a report of the incident as of Wednesday.

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"We're still looking into it," Brown said.

Fritsch did not return a call Wednesday seeking comment.

A woman who answered the phone at his home referred questions to his attorney, who also did not return a call.

Fritsch was stopped by Deputy T.M. Snyder about 8:49 p.m. on July 4, according to charging documents.

Snyder was on patrol on W.Va. 45 near Greensburg Road when he saw a white Ford Explorer going at a slow rate of speed, according to charging documents.

The car speeded up and then slowed back down, crossing the left center line twice, according to allegations contained in charging documents.

Snyder pulled over the vehicle and walked up to the driver's side window, charging documents said.

"The defendant's eyes were glassy and there was an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath and coming from the vehicle," Snyder wrote in his report.

The driver declined to answer the deputy's questions and refused to take an alcohol test, charging documents alleged. He also refused to sign any of the paperwork related to the driving under the influence charge, according to court documents.

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