Judge stops State Rep. Cherelle Parker's drunk-driving appeal

State Rep. Cherelle Parker was dealt a setback in her bid to have her drunken-driving conviction overturned, now that a judge has affirmed the conviction.

A Chester County judge sitting as an appellate judge in Philadelphia for the case affirmed her conviction last month. Attorneys received the ruling yesterday.

State Rep. Cherelle Parker

Defense attorney Joseph Kelly said he will appeal to state Superior Court. During that process, he said, the stay of Parker's sentence would continue. It includes three days in jail, a $1,000 fine, having to attend driver-safety class and the suspension of her license for a year.

Parker, 41, was arrested just after midnight April 30, 2011, after police said she drove drunk the wrong way down a one-way street in Germantown. The Northwest Democrat maintains that she was not drunk and didn't drive the wrong way, Kelly said.

In late 2011, Philadelphia Municipal Judge Charles Hayden threw the case out, but in January 2012, Common Pleas Judge Paula A. Patrick reversed Hayden's ruling after she found that he had abused his discretion. It turned out that Parker and Hayden were Facebook friends. A Montgomery County judge found Parker guilty at trial a year later.

- Mensah M. Dean

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