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New Lemont KinderCare director was charged for DUI with children in car

LEMONT – The recently named director of the Lemont KinderCare childcare center was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while her children were in the car in 2011.

Rhabi Baker, who previous media reports say is from Olympia Fields, has been employed by KinderCare for six years and recently transferred from the Orland Park center, where she had been the director since 2011.

According to police reports, Baker was arrested on Feb. 27, 2011, in Portage, Ind. She was initially charged with a Class D felony for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, with an additional charge of having a blood alcohol content above the .08 legal limit and a misdemeanor for having two children in the car. Police said the charge constituted a felony because Baker had been previously charged for driving while intoxicated.

According to the Porter County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Baker reached a plea agreement regarding her charges.

Baker was taking her 5-year-old and 1-year-old children home when she was pulled over for travelling east on the westbound lanes of Interstate 94, according to previous media reports. She failed a series of field sobriety tests and had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit, the reports said.

Colleen Moran, the senior communications coordinator for KinderCare, said via email that the company follows the guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that "an arrest record alone should not be used in employment decisions."

"We are aware that Ms. Baker was arrested, but not convicted, for DUI in 2011," she said. "Since she was not convicted of a crime and has no other restriction on her ability to work with and teach children, we are confident that her center leadership abilities will continue to shine through as she works to help educate the children at the Lemont center."

When contacted, Baker said the incident "was not true" and refused to further elaborate.

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