Pr. George's Lobbyist Heads to Trial on DUI Charges
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
A lobbyist for the Prince George's County Council and sheriff's office is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday on drunken-driving charges, the latest in a string of similar charges he has faced since the early 1990s.
David A. Jacobs of Mitchellville, husband of county school board chairman Verjeana M. Jacobs (At Large), was charged with DUI and other traffic offenses after losing control of his sport-utility vehicle April 29 and striking a guardrail and another vehicle, police said.
Police records show that his blood-alcohol level was 0.17, more than twice the legal limit. His trial will be held in Prince George's District Court.
Jacobs once served as director of the county's office of emergency preparedness, but he resigned in 2001 after being stopped multiple times on suspicion of drunken driving.
After attending a recovery program, he began work as a lobbyist, but he continued to have run-ins with the law on serious traffic violations, some of which landed him in jail.
Despite his history, the county and others have continued to pay Jacobs as a contracted lobbyist. According to a state ethics database, he represented the County Council, sheriff's office, Town of Colmar Manor and a developer during the state's last legislative session.
Neither Jacobs nor his wife responded to calls for comment. David Jacobs's attorney, Thomas C. Mooney, declined to comment.
Asked whether Jacobs's criminal history conflicted with his representing a law enforcement agency, Sgt. Mario Ellis, a sheriff's office spokesman, said, "No, because people who've been convicted of DWIs are entitled to work, and he does what he's getting paid to do.
"He is currently not working on anything for us right now," Ellis said. He said he did not know how much Jacobs was paid for his services.
In the April incident, Jacobs was driving a 2007 Honda Pilot east on Enterprise Road in Bowie when the accident occurred. A Prince George's officer responding to the scene wrote in a report that Jacobs smelled strongly of alcohol, "was unaware of his surroundings and did not realize that he was involved in an accident."
Jacobs was polite, but his speech was slurred and he swayed while walking, the report said. He was unable to complete sobriety tests because he could not follow instructions, the officer wrote.
County Council Administrator Craig Price said that Jacobs was paid $36,000 to represent the council's interests in each of the past two legislative sessions and that Jacobs did not drive a county vehicle. Records show that the council also contracted with him in 2006 and 2007.