Popular Cleveland councilman convicted of DUI attends debate, de - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Popular Cleveland councilman convicted of DUI attends debate, defends himself

Posted: Updated:
Ward 2 debate at Earl B. Turner Recreation Center in Cleveland Ward 2 debate at Earl B. Turner Recreation Center in Cleveland
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Four candidates, including Councilman Zack Reed, are running in Ward 2.

One candidate and several voters focused squarely on Reed's personal problems during Tuesday night's debate.

And it was something Reed clearly expected.

Voters in Ward 2 listened as a volunteer read questions from the audience and Councilman Reed addressed his drinking problem.

"If you talk to my mother, who's lived a little bit longer than I have, she will tell you that this problem of alcoholism is in our family.  So it's something that I've inherited like a lot of families have inherited this problem," said Zack Reed.

"You did not answer the question," stated a concerned citizen.

So the question was read again. "What is more important to you -- your drinking problem or serving on the city council?"

"I think I answered the question. I think I tried to answer the question. I think my own personal problem is a problem I gotta deal with. I don't think either one is more important than the other," said Zack Reed.

One of Reed's opponents, Marcus Henley, tried to make Reed's DWI conviction an issue.

"What he got convicted of was a crime. He is being sentenced for a crime," said Henley.

"If you want to take me on personally, I'm willing to take you on personally. But we're here tonight to talk about the problems of this ward not the public problems of Zack Reed," the councilman responded.

Reed is scheduled to be sentenced September 5.  

He faces up to six months in jail. 

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow