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District 218 leader reacts to board member’s latest arrest for DUI

Johnny Lewis Holmes said Monday night thhe had retired as police chief Robbins last week.  | Supplied photo

Johnny Lewis Holmes said Monday night that he had retired as police chief of Robbins last week. | Supplied photo

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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:43AM



Among the many messages high school officials strive to impart to their students is to be responsible drivers.

So what do you do when a school board member gets arrested for DUI?

When Midlothian police stopped Johnny Lewis Holmes Dec. 22, they weren’t just pulling over the Robbins police chief. They were ticketing a member of the Community High School District 218 board, too.

John Byrne, superintendent for the district, which includes Richards, Eisenhower and Shepard high schools, said Friday, “We feel very bad for him. This is very disappointing. Obviously, the board has not had a chance to discuss it.”

The next board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Holmes was stopped that Saturday night after a motorist called 911 complaining that his GMC Yukon had swerved into her lane near 147th Street and Pulaski Road, police said. An officer later said he saw Holmes make an improper turn and that the police chief allegedly did not yield to emergency lights and siren.

The officer also stated that when Holmes finally was pulled over, he detected a strong odor and that Holmes allegedly admitted he had been drinking at Posen Pub. A flask of alcohol was found in Holmes’ jacket.

Holmes failed sobriety tests, according to the police report.

Byrne said for now, district officials “have to be neutral about this because he has not been convicted of anything.”

Besides, he added, “You can’t legally force an elected person to resign.”

The arrest marked Holmes’ second for DUI in Midlothian within three years.

He was sentenced to court supervision and paid more than $1,000 in fees for a 2010 DUI arrest, court records show. Back then, Holmes was questioned after an officer saw his vehicle swerve into an opposite lane on Claire Boulevard and nearly hit another car.

Of that arrest, Byrne said, “I can tell you Johnny was very worried about how that would look to the students.”

Byrne said Holmes and his wife, Marion, a former district math teacher and current volunteer, “absolutely love kids. They both care very much about helping kids.”



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