County commissioner candidate facing drunk driving charge

October 16, 2014
Andrew Sebolt

Andrew Sebolt

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — Andrew Sebolt, who is running unopposed in the Nov. 4 election for a seat on the Oceana County Board of Commissioners, is facing a drunk driving charge.

Sebolt, 32, of 4124 E. Hazel Rd., Hart was arrested June 7 by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office for operating while intoxicated, according to his file in 78th District Court. He posted 10 percent of a $3,500 bond, his file states.

The case is being prosecuted in Oceana County by the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office due to an apparent conflict of interest. Sebolt waived his arraignment, June 17, according to court records.

Sebolt’s attorney, Ryan Ramsayer, said he is confident his client will be vindicated. “I have filed a motion to have the case dismissed,” he said. Ramsayer is an associate counsel for Barone Defense Firm in Birmingham, Mich. According to the firm’s website, it exclusively handles drunk driving defenses.

A hearing to address Ramsayer’s motion for dismissal that was scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 14, was adjourned on behalf of the prosecution, he said. The attorney said he has a “pretty good basis” for dismissal. “My client is presumed innocent, and he will be vindicated. We need to let the system work itself out,” he said. “A non-alcohol offense” could be the outcome of his case, he added.

Due to the appointment of the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office as special counsel, Ramsayer said reaching a “positive solution” has taken longer than he would have liked. “The wheels of justice move slowly,” he said. Now, a new date for a motion hearing is being scheduled, he said, and he’s anticipating that will not take place until the end of November — after the election.

Sebolt defeated longtime county commissioner Larry VanSickle, who is currently chairman of the board, in the primary election last August. Sebolt is seeking election to represent District 4, which includes the townships of Colfax, Leavitt, Elbridge and Ferry.

OCP was unsuccessful in reaching Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola for comment.

OCP received a tip from a reader about the case who said they “wanted to make a good decision among the candidates.”

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