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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • School director faces jail time

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  • - Western Wayne school board member Andrew John "A.J." Gaudenzi will spend at least 30 days in jail after pleading guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of DUI and related summary offenses in connection with a hit-and-run crash Jan. 22.
    The minimum sentence is 30 days in county jail and the maximum is six months, said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.
    Gaudenzi also faces fines of over $5,000 and must complete a drug and alcohol assessment.
    The school director will be sentenced Aug. 28 at 9:30 a.m. before President Judge Raymond Hamill.
    Gaudenzi, 27, of Waymart, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.246 percent when he crashed in Waymart. A driver in Pennsylvania is considered intoxicated at a level of 0.08 percent.
    Gaudenzi said Thursday he has no plans on resigning his school board position. By law, he is not required to resign since the charges are not felony offenses.
    Gaudenzi's lawyer, Bernard Brown, said pleading guilty was in his client's best interest so he can continue to serve his Western Wayne constituents.
    Brown said the plea agreement, in which some charges were dismissed, was a "fair offer."
    But two school board members, Donald McDonough and Doris Pliss, have previously said they believe Gaudenzi should resign.
    A third member, David Lindow, said Thursday the charges are an embarrassment to Gaudenzi and the district.
    But he added that not one constituent in Gaudenzi's region has come forward to ask for his resignation.
    Lindow said his personal feelings on the matter are irrelevant.
    Other board members didn't return phone calls Thursday.
    Edwards told the court about the incident involving the car crash.
    Page 2 of 2 - State police said Gaudenzi's blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit when he crashed a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier into a deactivated fire hydrant at 1 a.m. Jan. 22 on Gravity Plains Road in Waymart.
    The force of the collision caused piping to be ripped from the ground.
    Gaudenzi left the scene. The car was found, with front-end damage, in a nearby driveway.
    Gaudenzi was found in a nearby residence and admitted to the crash.
    He also displayed "various mood changes," Edwards said.
    Regarding the accusations, Hamill asked Gaudenzi, "Is that true, sir?"
    Gaudenzi replied, "Yes, sir."

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