The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 23, 2014

Court documents: Elementary principal initially refused DUI blood test

SELINSGROVE — Shikellamy School District’s Oaklyn Elementary Principal Holly Ann Judge allegedly begged the state trooper arresting her for DUI to let her go because she would lose her career.

She initially refused to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, according to court documents filed with her arrest.

Trooper Craig Magnuson of the Selinsgrove State Police Barracks said Judge was unable to stand without stumbling while she was tested for sobriety.

Judge, 36, of 120 Lotti Drive, Northumberland, is accused of driving drunk at more than four times the legal limit on Market Street in Selinsgrove at 11:29 p.m. May 30.

Judge was appointed principal for Oaklyn on Oct. 11, 2011. Her current salary is $93,244.

Magnuson, while patrolling Selinsgrove that night, said he observed a white 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee parked along the roadway with its brake lights illuminated.

The driver, later identified as Judge, pulled away onto South Market Street without using a signal and drove over the center line with the driver’s side tires. As Judge traveled north, she continued driving in the southbound lane, police said.

Magnuson pulled the vehicle over along Market Street just north of East Chestnut Street approximately a block away from where he saw her parked.

When questioned, Judge “started to answer a couple times but seemed flustered and did not complete a sentence,” police said.

She had bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol, police said.

When asked how much she had to drink, Judge, who was becoming visibly more upset, allegedly said in a slurred voice, “I am not going to lie. I had a couple.”

The provided insurance card had expired April 24, police said.

When Magnuson asked Judge to submit to a breathalyzer, she allegedly refused several times, told the trooper she would lose her job and repeatedly said “please.”

Magnuson, who said he had no idea what she did for a living, asked her to submit to a field sobriety test instead of the breath test, but Judge was allegedly unable to do so without stumbling.

The trooper placed her under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol to a degree that she was unsafe to be driving.

“Judge said she was not denying that,” police said.

While being transported to the borough barracks, Magnuson said Judge was crying, slurring her words and begging to be let go because she would lose her job.

At 11:49 p.m., the trooper read Judge the blood test form while she was yelling and crying; she refused to sign it. At 12:01 a.m. May 31, she submitted to the blood test, police said.

When the results came back on June 17, the test revealed she had a blood-alchohol level of 0.332 percent, police said. A driver is considered legally intoxicated in Pennsylvania with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent.

Judge faces two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, failing to drive on the right side of the road, failing to drive on the road, failing to use proper turn signals, failing to have required financial insurance and was driving carelessly and recklessly.

Judge was charged Thursday in the Selinsgrove office of District Judge John H. Reed, Selinsgrove.

She declined to comment when contacted by The Daily Item Friday.

District Superintendent Patrick Kelley also declined comment on Monday, noting he could not discuss a personnel matter.

The school board is scheduled for a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday for general purposes at the Island Park Administration Center Conference Room, 200 Island Blvd.

When asked if Judge would be a topic of discussion, Kelley said the agenda had not yet been set.   

Judge formerly served as assistant principal and athletic director for the Susquehanna Community School District. Prior to that, she was a reading specialist and she also has experience working with students with special needs. She has also served as an adjunct professor for Lackawanna and Keystone colleges.

She earned both her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, as well as a master’s degree as a reading specialist from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She earned her principal certificate from Wilkes University.

Judge will appear before Reed for a preliminary hearing in August, but no date has been set.

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