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Alfonso Todd III escapes fine for driving with suspended license

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 22 2014 12:45:09 PM CST
Alfonso Todd III
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A citation for driving with a suspended license was dropped against Alfonso Todd III of Allentown Wednesday morning, when city police failed to show up to prosecute the case.

Todd, an events coordinator and former City Council candidate, said it was all just an honest mistake.

He had been cited on Dec. 14. He said he was pulled over because his registration sticker was out of date.

If found guilty, he faced a $200 fine.

The hearing was scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Rashid Santiago at 1216 Liberty St. in the city.

The judge waited until about 11:35 a.m. to call Todd into his courtroom.

He said Allentown police officer Jason Ehl was not there to present a case against Todd. He explained he usually gives all parties 15 minutes to show up. He indicated no one had called to say they were running late.

When Todd started to speak in his own defense on the charge of driving while his operating privilege was suspended or revoked, the judge said: “The burden is not on you. The burden is on the Commonwealth. They have to put on their case to prove the allegations in this case.”

Todd told the judge he was making a motion to throw it out and Santiago granted his motion to dismiss the case.

The judge warned Todd that the charge against him could be refilled at any time. “We might be here again.”

On Feb. 23, 2013, Todd also pleaded guilty to driving while his operating privilege was suspended -- and for two parking tickets. That was before District Justice James Narlesky of Bethlehem, who fined him $897.

Before going into court Wednesday, Todd said he had paid all those fines. He assumed paying the fines meant his license no longer was suspended. He claimed he also was told that by someone at the state Department of Transportation,

According to court records, Todd was convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, parking violations a dozen times since 2004. He had been cited 34 times in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

“I thought I was yesterday’s news, but apparently not,” said Todd before he was called into Santiago’s courtroom.