Former SC Transportation Czar Gets Off On Drunk Driving Charge

ROBERT ST. ONGE HAS CHARGE DROPPED … || By FITSNEWS || More than a year after his arrest, former S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) director Robert St. Onge appeared before a court in Lexington County, S.C. this week to answer for drunk driving charges. It didn’t take long … In fact…


|| By FITSNEWS || More than a year after his arrest, former S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) director Robert St. Onge appeared before a court in Lexington County, S.C. this week to answer for drunk driving charges.

It didn’t take long …

In fact according to Lexington County court records, it took precisely one minute … his hearing began at 8:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday (February 23) and ended at 8:31 a.m. EST.

“The mainstream media isn’t even awake then,” our source at the court said. “And if they blinked they would’ve missed it.”

Oh, and guess what … St. Onge got off.

Despite blowing more than twice the legal limit on a breathalyzer machine after being pulled over one Friday morning last January (at 8:00 a.m., it’s worth remembering), St. Onge had his driving under the influence charge reduced to “reckless driving” this week.

The former U.S. Army general pleaded guilty and paid a $445 fine.  No jail time.

His attorney?  Democratic shyster Joe McCulloch.

“So a Republican governor’s ex-cabinet head had to use a liberal Democratic trial lawyer,” one source remarked.

Pretty much …

St. Onge’s agency was in the midst of a full-blown transportation emergency at the time of his arrest, it’s worth recalling … and is currently the focus of a major reform push after chronically failing to appropriate resources.

Of course this is just the beginning of the irony associated with this latest installment of “Palmetto Justice.”  Just a few yards away from where St. Onge was pulled over last February is a SCDOT sign honoring the memory of Nicholas Z. Johnson.

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

Nicholas Zachary Johnson Sign

(Pic: Via)

Who’s Nicholas Z. Johnson?

He’s the SCDOT worker who was struck and killed by … you guessed it … a drunk driver while working on Interstate 20 on December 3, 2012.  In fact St. Onge was present on January 17, 2013 when the SCDOT commission approved the sign honoring Johnson’s memory.


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Buz Martin February 25, 2015 at 9:49 am

You could have written this one even before it happened.

I have a pebble in my shoe February 25, 2015 at 10:50 pm

“Justus served.”

flip February 25, 2015 at 9:53 am

Did he really ‘get off’? My understanding is even if reduced to reckless driving the fine, penalties,attorney fees,insurance rate increase are about equal?

nitrat February 25, 2015 at 9:58 am

But, a DUI in SC is not expungeable…ever.
I surmise a reckless driving and virtually every other crime up to murder is.
So, he ends up with a clean record to take to his next job.

Elfego February 25, 2015 at 10:47 am

But there is no DUI record and he doesn’t have to file SR#22.

Try To Keep Up February 25, 2015 at 9:53 am

Unfortunately, in SC, it seems like just about all first time DUI offenses are plead down to “reckless driving”.

Mom February 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Was this his first DUI?????

ThreePalms February 25, 2015 at 10:20 am

You attempt to make a big deal about the proximity of the Johnson sign to the place of arrest and that the defense attorney is a Democrat, but shouldn’t the real issue be about the Lexington County official presiding in the court? He (or She) is the one who agreed to accept the plea of a lessor charge.

Go ask your brilliant “source” if what he meant to say was something like, “So a Republican governor’s ex-cabinet head was able to use a Republican appointed magistrate to get off of an egregious DUI charge.”

jimlewisowb February 25, 2015 at 10:48 am

Welcome to South Carolina

If you like to Drive Drunk, Beat the Hell out of your Loved Ones and never serve a day in jail, then this is the place for you to live

For all non residents who establish residency by 12/25/15 you will receive a chrome plated 45 with 10 sliver plated bullets and a set of “brass” knuckles highlighted with a special polymer coating to lessen the chance of leaving bruise marks on your loved ones

Y’all have a great morning, see you soon — checks, cash or transferable stock options can be sent to PO Box 3258(FCKU), Columbia, SC

Nikki R. Haley, Great Governor of South Carolina

story time with jim February 25, 2015 at 11:04 am

Did you pick that up at the post office in Chapin today? :-)

jimlewisowb February 25, 2015 at 11:36 am

Nope – Headed that way in a few minutes, however will use the drop box in the drive thru

Understanding the PO lobby suffered a hazardous waste incident earlier this AM

Some POS that goes by the handle STWJ stopped by to pick up his undelievered mail and they are still trying to get his odor out of the building

jurisdoc February 25, 2015 at 10:53 am

Reckless is a fairly common plea, due to mistakes by the officer, etc. Call it a loophole if you like, but when a citizen gets popped for breaking THE LAW they don’t get a pass because “well gosh officer, i didn’t mean to have that dime bag in the console…”
When a reckless if obtained, neither the client nor the state are willing to take their chances with a jury/judge.

And the conviction rate in SC is about 50%, so “nobody gets convicted of DUI” is a complete fallacy.

Heard it all February 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

50% is a pathetic conviction rate and the reason it is so low is because:

“Mistakes by the officer”? Really? How much of your income depends on getting drunks off using these absurd technicalities jurisdoc?

Rocky February 25, 2015 at 10:58 am

ONce again, you have no right to question the entitlements given to the SC ruling class. Want to drive drunk, no accountability. Beat your prego girlfriend to a pulp trying to force her to have a miscarriage – cool beans. Lead cops in a high speed chase while getting a hummer and drinking vodka, hey, if your the local Top Cop – go for it. Want to dump hazardous chemicals into the local sewage system – your free to proceed. It will never change. Allen Wilson is one man, lined up against a ruling class of thousands. And the voters of this state, well – “bless your hearts.”

Guest February 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Ummm it appears that the case was not filed. Not even showing up.

Manray9 February 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Business as usual in SC.

Stay Thirsty My Friend February 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Must have used the Chief Justice’s defense.

Corruption Out of Control February 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm


Wendy February 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Had this happened several years ago in the Town of Lexington by a Town cop, I can tell you what would have happened. DOT Commissioner H.T. would have asked D.F. aka’ Kingfish for help. He would have went to J.K. , who he helped get the #2 position and he would have it dropped. Just like D.F. had charges dropped against his daughter. Just saying……

Arlen Cooper February 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

? And the beat ? goes on ? And the beat ? goes on?

Shawn F February 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

gotta love that 12-step rigorous honesty being practiced

Lenny Musso February 26, 2015 at 8:52 am

I’ve been trying to tell everyone that these sorts of things are of little consequence and should not be due to the very important status of elected and appointed politicians in our society. The judge obviously recognizes that few are as capable of serving as St. Onge is and made accommodations accordingly. I’m proud that this exemption of justice was made for St. Onge in my very own Lexington County. We have a long, proud history of putting our rulers on pedestals where they belong. I’ll be organizing a fund raiser for St. Onge so he doesn’t have to pay the fine himself. We’re aiming for $100,000 so that the leftover amount can be given to St. Onge as a little compensation for the bother he was put through.

Matlock February 26, 2015 at 9:57 am

I’m with you on most things, but to me a criminal defense lawyer is the most libertarian thing to be. Everybody hates us until you need us.

ELCID February 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

The biggest crime in all of this was Haley’s appointment of this character in the first place. He had no experience in transportation, no experience in leading a large company with lots of employees, no experience in running a government agency, and didn’t even know that Clemson University’s CU-ICAR (one of the world’s to automotive research sites), or USC’s advanced vehicle research Departments, existed at all.

He was just one of the many unqualified Haley Dept. appointments that have crashed with outrageous humiliation of our State Government.

Just think what damage Haley could do to the world if she ever got elected to higher Federal Office. God help us if she got the presidency.

Guero February 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

Billy Folks never lets facts get in the way of an ideological rant. I was in court. 13 years after LCSD was told they had to equip their patrol cars with cameras, they have outfitted 20 of 100. How should the law treat law enforcement who refuse to follow the law?

Cameras protect citizens and cops. Trooper Groubert comes to mind…

And LCSD knew this datamaster was consistently giving erroneous readings. I guess the Faux New/FITS crowd thinks the government should be allowed to do as they please w/o regard for the law if the defendant has the gall to hire a lawyer.

gm5425 March 3, 2015 at 10:10 am

Is anyone surprised?


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