Howland Trustee pleads not guilty to OVI charge

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – The Howland Township trustee charged with OVI has 15 days until he’ll be in court for a hearing in the case.

The attorney representing James Lapolla, Jr. filed a written not guilty plea, excusing him from appearing for his arraignment on Tuesday.

Lapolla was charged with OVI and a lane violation after police pulled him over on US-422 early Saturday morning. A police report says Lapolla told officers he had a few drinks and that he didn’t perform well on field sobriety tests.

Officers say he refused to test his blood alcohol content, which is why he’s under an administrative license suspension.

“It’s not specific to the charge. It’s specific to the implied consent that you gave to the state when you acknowledge in advance that you would consent to that test if requested, so it’s independent of anything that transpires with the court,” said Niles Police Capt. John Marshall.

For a first time offense, an administrative license suspension stays in effect for a year.