2 to get pink slips over alleged DUIs

Robin Jones, 50, of the 5100 block of Diamond Street, was arrested for drunken driving in a city-owned vehicle without authorization. (Photo: Philadelphia Police Department)
Robin Jones, 50, of the 5100 block of Diamond Street, was arrested for drunken driving in a city-owned vehicle without authorization. (Photo: Philadelphia Police Department)
Posted: September 11, 2012

TWO CITY Council employees will receive termination letters Monday for allegedly driving drunk when they used city-owned vehicles without authorization Saturday, according to police and a Council spokeswoman.

It hasn't been a good summer for City Council staffers. In July, a City Council employee was arrested for allegedly stealing Social Security checks from an elderly woman.

In Saturday's incident, Council receptionist Robin Jones, 50, was allegedly driving a city-owned 2008 Chevy Cobalt about 2:30 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle and hit a building at 13th and Hamilton streets in Center City, police said.

Jones told responding officers that she crashed into the building when she swerved to avoid hitting a bicyclist, according to police. However, cops on scene believed her to be driving under the influence of intoxicants and charged her with DUI, police said.

While still at the scene, Jones called her friend, Rodney Williams, a sergeant-at-arms for City Council, police said.

A sergeant-at-arms' duties include keeping the peace during Council meetings.

Williams, 42, showed up at the scene "visibly intoxicated" in a city-owned 1997 Ford Explorer, police said. Authorities slapped him with a DUI charge as well.

In a written statement, Council President Darrell Clarke said neither employee had permission to use the city-owned vehicles.

"These acts, if confirmed by the authorities, display a level of conduct and disregard for public safety that cannot be tolerated," he said.

Jane Roh, spokeswoman for Clarke and Council, said in an email that Williams and Jones will receive termination letters on Monday.

She said both employees knew how to obtain keys to city-owned vehicles because their duties included making sure the cars were accounted for and providing car keys to Council members.

"Council President Clarke will not allow the unauthorized and negligent use of City-owned vehicles to stand," she wrote. "He plans to consult with the appropriate offices and agencies before pursuing further action."

As Williams and Jones are receiving their termination letters Monday, another City Hall staffer is scheduled to have her preliminary hearing.

Nancy Gonzalez, 51, was arrested in July after a seven-month investigation into her alleged theft of $25,000 worth of Social Security checks from an elderly woman she allowed to live in squalor.

Roh said Gonzalez retired from City Council after her arrest, although she did not have an exact date immediately available Sunday.


Contact Stephanie Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or 215-854-4225. Follow her on Twitter @FarFarrAway. Read her blog at PhillyConfidential.com.

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