Ex-City Council aide a no-show in court, warrant issued

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: March 15, 2013

A Philadelphia judge this morning issued a warrant for the arrest of ex-City Council aide Robin Jones after she failed to show for sentencing on her guilty plea to drunk-driving charges in the Sept. 8 crash of a city-owned car she was not supposed to drive.

Municipal Court Judge Joseph J. O'Neill waited an hour after the scheduled 10 a.m. sentencing time before granting the request for a bench warrant by Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kotchian.

Neither Jones, 50, nor her lawyer, Vivienne A. Crawford, arrived for the sentencing and court personnel were not able to reach Crawford at her office. Crawford could not be reached for comment.

Kotchian said afterward that Jones also failed to keep a recent mandatory pre-sentencing evaluation by a drug and alcohol counselor.

Although Jones pleaded guilty to charges she was intoxicated on alcohol and cocaine when she was driving, Kotchian said the reality of sentencing "may be creeping up on her."

Kotchian said Jones faces a mandatory 72 hours in prison, a $1,000 fine and a year's suspension of her driver's license. Kotchian said she will consider seeking a longer sentence because of Jones failure to appear today.

The Sept. 8 crash at 13th and Hamilton Streets in lower North Philadelphia occurred at 2:30 a.m. when 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.

Police said Jones called Rodney Williams, 42, a City Council sergeant-at-arms 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.

Williams was found guilty of drunk-driving in February and is awaiting sentencing.


Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.

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