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Archive Police and Fire

Westmont village manager arrested in Clarendon Hills

WESTMONT – Westmont Village Manager Ron Searl was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol July 3 in Clarendon Hills, according to the Clarendon Hills Police Department.

At 11:37 p.m. July 3, Searl, 54, was driving westbound near 55th Street and South Prospect Avenue when police witnessed him driving in the center turn lane before signaling and proceeding into a parking lot of a closed business, according to Clarendon Hills Police Chief Ted Jenkins.

An officer approached Searl's silver Honda and could smell alcohol coming his breath. After Searl submitted to and failed a field sobriety test, he was arrested and processed at the Clarendon Hills Police Department, where it was determined that his blood alcohol content was .112, Jenkins said.

He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and using the wrong lane, according to police.

Searl – who has served as Westmont village manager for 10 years – then posted bond was taken to his home by Clarendon Hills police.

"He was polite, respectful and cooperative during the entire process," Jenkins said. "Its not uncommon for us to drive home if they live in the community or close by. It’s easier and more efficient for us to drive them home than to have to have someone stay with them while they wait to be picked up."

Village of Westmont Communications Director Larry McIntyre said the village is aware of the situation and called it a "personnel issue" that is currently being handled confidentially.

In December 2011, former Westmont Fire Chief Frank Trout was arrested after a drinking and driving incident in which he crashed into a parked car in unincorporated DuPage County. Although Trout was later acquitted of driving under the influence charges, the Village of Westmont forced him to retire before he appeared in court.

Trout then sued the village for unpaid wages and damages. The lawsuit is still pending and will soon be subject for a motion for summary judgment, according to village attorney John Zemenak.

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