UTICA, N.Y. -- The STOP DWI coordinator for Oneida County has been fired following a DWI-Drugs arrest in the city of Utica.
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol says, Thomas Giruzzi, 54 of Utica, was driving his personal vehicle on Genesee Street when an officer noticed he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was using his cell phone.
A corporal (a sheriff's deputy ranked between a deputy and a sergeant) pulled him over, and allegedly found Giruzzi to be in the possession of cocaine. The Oneida County Undersheriff says Giruzzi failed a field sobriety test, and did not pass the evaluation of a DRE- drug recognition expert.
Giruzzi was charged with DWI – Drugs, along with other traffic violations.
"He isn't above the law. We did process him and he's lost his job. I don't think that's above the law. I think he has a problem and I hope he gets help for his problem," said Oneida County Undersheriff, Joseph Lisi.
Giruzzi was processed and released, and will be arraigned in Utica City Court, once lab results from his blood sample are known.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente released a statement saying Giruzzi has been removed from his position. It reads:
“Mr. Giruzzi has been removed from his position as STOP DWI Coordinator effective immediately and is no longer employed by the County of Oneida,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Last night, he was arrested for driving under the influence. Fortunately, no one, including himself, was physically injured by his unacceptable and inappropriate actions.
“It is my hope that Tom finds the help he needs at this time. Substance abuse is a serious disease that can affect anyone regardless of their personal or professional circumstances. The STOP DWI Office is mission critical to educating the public on the ill effects of driving while under the influence and making destructive decisions. I will seek to fill that position as soon as possible.”