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Preliminary hearing set for school director

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By Tim Karan
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Armstrong School District director James T. Rearic who was arrested for DUI in late September after allegedly driving around a police barricade in South Buffalo.

According to the criminal complaint, Rearic, 45, of Kittanning, was traveling north on Route 28 in a black Ford Explorer at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 when he encountered the scene of an earlier multi-vehicle accident near the Slate Lick exit.

The highway was blocked by flares and state police cars with emergency lights activated as two troopers in uniform directed traffic onto the exit ramp.

Rearic, however, drove around the road block and continued on Route 28 toward the crash scene, where crew from three fire companies, several more state troopers, ambulance and tow crews were at work, before he eventually pulled over.

When police asked Rearic why he drove through the barricade, he reportedly said he thought the road was open.

The trooper detected the odor of alcohol on Rearic's breath and conducted a field sobriety and preliminary breath test which revealed a blood alcohol level of .085 percent, the complaint alleges.

Rearic, a manager for BP Lubricants, has served as a District 1 director on the ASD board for five years and is in the middle of a two-year term that ends next year.

Board president Joe Close said he's aware of the charges against Rearic but that it's unlikely he would lose his seat over them.

“I support (Rearic) in this situation,” said Close. “(The ASD board) is not required to take any action on this at all, and there's no language in the school code that says he's required to resign.”

Rearic faces charges of DUI, careless driving and other traffic violations. It is his first DUI offense. A preliminary hearing has been set for Nov. 27 before District Judge Gary DeComo.

Rearic did not return calls for comment.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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