Charges dropped against council member

YORK -- Officials have dropped a year-old disorderly conduct charge against York City Councilman John Smith.

The decision was made because the police officers involved in the case left the department for jobs at York County's Moss Justice Center and in Virginia, said York Police Chief Bill Mobley.

"It was a mutual agreement by both parties that this was the right thing to do," Mobley said.

Smith, who has served on the council since 2000, said Tuesday he was satisfied with the outcome.

"I didn't want to prolong the process," he said.

Smith, formerly mayor pro tem, was arrested in June 2006 after officials said he staggered several times as he walked along North Roosevelt Street after a downtown event, according to a police report.

Smith was charged with public disorderly conduct, the report stated. An October trial on the charge ended in mistrial after the jury deadlocked.

Mobley said Smith could have faced a 30-day sentence or a fine in connection with the incident.

The report said Smith stopped walking, turned around and staggered backward. He appeared unsteady on his feet and had a strong odor of alcohol, the report stated. When police asked for Smith's picture ID, he gave them a bank card and later gave them a state ID, according to the report.

About four months later, Smith's case was tried in court.

"The jury couldn't make a determination," Mobley said. "The case just stayed in limbo."

At least one trial was postponed before Smith's case was dismissed.

"Under the circumstances, this was the only determination we could have made," Mobley said.