City Councilor ArrestedBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, November 14, 2006
North Adams - City Councilor Ronald Boucher was arrested at his 645 Barbour St. home on Nov. 13 after Orleans, Mass. authorities issued a warrant for non-payment of fines. Orleans is located in Barnstable County on Cape Cod.
Boucher,49, was taken to the city police station and was released later that evening after posting $1,000 cash bail set by Northern Berkshire Assistant Clerk Magistrate Dennis D'Arcangelo, Boucher said during a Nov. 14 telephone interview.
The matter stemmed from a 2004 arrest in Orleans, Boucher confirmed.
"It is not something I am proud of but it did happen," he said. "It happened and I learned from it."
He was unaware that a warrant had been issued until police officers
arrived at his home, he said.
Boucher said that he was in Orleans in April 2004 when he was stopped by police. He confirmed that he was charged with drunk driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended driver's license, and a marked lanes violation. He did appear in court and the charges were continued without a finding for one year, Boucher said. He was placed on one year's probation and completed a court-ordered alcohol education and awareness program, he said.
The fines totaled $1,380 and included state imposed costs such as a head injury fee and victim/witness fee, Boucher said.
Boucher said that he did not ignore the fine but did not realize that court fines may not be paid with personal checks. He has since learned that only cashier's checks or money orders may be used to pay court-ordered fines, he said.
The bail money Boucher paid has been forwarded to the Orleans authorities and the fine balance was sent to Orleans authorities via an express delivery service, Boucher said. Boucher said a Nov. 19 court date was set at the time of his release and he will travel to a southeastern Massachusetts court if necessary. Court authorities may not require him to appear at the court because the money has been paid, he said.
He does currently possess a valid driver's license, he said.
City police treated him with courtesy throughout the incident, he said.
"They were nice about everything, everybody was," Boucher said.