Pirates president Coonelly apologizes for DUI arrest
Pirates President Frank Coonelly on Thursday apologized for drinking and driving, resulting in his arrest in December.
Ross police arrested Coonelly on Dec. 22 and charged him with drunken driving, driving the wrong way, careless driving and driving with a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.16 percent, according to court records. The state's legal limit is 0.08 percent.
Police described the DUI charges as his first offenses, according to the court documents.
"My actions that evening were irresponsible and wrong," Coonelly said in a prepared statement released by the team.
Coonelly, 51, of Sewickley is married with four children.
"My wife and I have preached to our children about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol, not only for themselves but for the innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians on the road," he said.
Coonelly pledged to support groups that combat drunken driving.
His attorney, Robert G. Del Greco Jr., said that Coonelly's "hope is to enter into the first-time offenders ARD program. He intends on fully complying with all of the conditions of the program, which will allow him to earn a dismissal and expungement."
Bob Nutting, the Pirates chairman of the board who hired Coonelly in September 2007, said he was thankful that nobody was injured and expressed support for Coonelly.
"Frank called me immediately to apologize for the mistakes he had made," Nutting said. "I expressed my extreme disappointment in his actions."
Coonelly said he was pulled over just off the Parkway North's Perrysville exit for the HOV lane. He said he made one turn and realized he was going the wrong way -- 5 to 10 feet by his estimate -- before making a U-turn. That, he said, was when the police came.
Coonelly waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Feb. 1 and was released on his own recognizance. A formal arraignment is scheduled for March 20 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers opt for youth, speed while revamping roster
- Steelers finalize 53-man roster
- Timing of summer’s end a matter of perspective for Western Pennsylvanians
- Carnegie Mellon grad’s tweak to tweets turns 7
- Starkey: Pitt does its duty
- VND roundup: Kiski Area wins boys soccer opener
- Pilot in Atlantic Ocean crash lost consciousness, Coast Guard says
- White House threat sparks call for wider immigration debate
- Chemical mix sickens two from South Greensburg
- High school roundup: Seton-La Salle captures Century Conference win
- EU preps further sanctions on Russia as ‘full-scale war’ looms in Ukraine