Ex-City Council aide guilty of DUI

A former Philadelphia City Council sergeant-at-arms – arrested last Sept. 8 for driving a city-owned vehicle while intoxicated – was found guilty Monday by a Municipal Court judge of two counts of driving under the influence.

Rodney Williams, 42, who worked for Council since 2004, did not testify and defense attorney Robin Colley Pitt called no other witnesses during the hour-long trial before Judge Gerard A. Kosinski. Kosinski set sentencing for April 1.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kotchian presented two police witnesses who testified about Williams’ condition when he was stopped between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Sept. 8 at 13th and Hamilton Streets in lower North Philadelphia. Two hours after Williams’ arrest, said Kotchian, a breath-alcohol test showed that his blood-alcohol level was .16 – twice the legal threshold for driving intoxicated.

According to police, the incident began at 2:30 a.m. when Robin Jones, a 14-year city employee who was a receptionist in the office of Council President Darrell L. Clarke, crashed the city car she was driving at 13th and Hamilton Streets. Police said Jones, 50, called Williams for help and he was arrested when he arrived in another city vehicle.

Both Jones and Williams were fired from their City Council jobs for being arrested for driving under the influence and driving city-owned “pool cars” available only to Council members and certain staffers.

Jones has her own trial in Municipal Court on Wednesday.

Williams’ contact with police wasn’t over. On Sept. 26, Williams was arrested on drug charges after he was allegedly stopped near his house in the 2300 block of Bouvier Street in North Philadelphia with 40 grams of marijuana and 28 pills of the prescription narcotic painkiller hydrocodone.

Last month Williams pleaded guilty before a Municipal Court judge as part of an agreement with the District Attorney’s office in which he is serving nine months of reporting probation.