Zack Reed Responds to OVI Sentence

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CLEVELAND -- Despite receiving a jail sentence, Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed said he will continue to campaign and is confident he will win the election next week.

He was sentenced Thursday to 180 days in jail, but most were suspended or deferred.

He will begin serving a 10-day jail sentence on Sept. 25.

(Councilman Zack Reed responds after his sentencing on Sept. 5, 2013.)

(Councilman Zack Reed responds after his sentencing on Sept. 5, 2013.)

Reed will also have to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet for two months and pay a $1,500 fine.

His car will be fitted with an ignition interlock and will display a yellow license plate.

Another hearing will be held in two months to make sure Reed is attending treatment for his alcohol addiction.

Reed was arrested in March on his third OVI since 2005.

When he made his statement in court, he told the judge he plans to stay sober forever.  He also thanked the Cleveland Clinic where he is receiving treatment.

Outside of the courtroom, Reed told reporters things happen for a reason.

"So this was something that was placed before me and I have to continue to walk the walk and talk the talk and do the right thing and the judge has given me the opportunity to do the right thing,” Reed said.

He mentioned he had no expectations going into the sentencing.

"Whatever God laid down for me I was going to take," Reed said.

Last month, a jury found him guilty despite testimony from a corrections officer and a bartender who served him that night that he didn't seem to be impaired.

Hours after the verdict, Reed sat down at FOX 8 and admitted he has a problem but stressed that it's up to the voters to decide whether he's fit to remain on council.

“By God's grace, I've not hurt myself, and not hurt anyone else, and the position and the mistakes I made by putting myself behind a car while drinking could have placed me in that position.  So by only the grace of God.  Grateful for God, my family, my friends, and grateful for the people of Ward 2,” Reed said during the interview.

In the past, Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney called for Reed's resignation but there was no way he could force Reed to step down.

As a body, council has made no comment on the case.

Reed has represented Ward 2 for the past nine years.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:07 am

Judge enters.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:08 am

Attorney says Zack Reed respects and accepts the jury’s verdict. He is receiving treatment.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:10 am

Community has reached out, asking if they could help Zack Reed in any way.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:10 am

Attorney says Reed is anxious to address the court.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:10 am

Zack Reed thanks judge and jury.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:11 am

“I let the disease of alcoholism get ahold of me,” Reed says.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:11 am

Reed says he plans to stay sober for the rest of his life.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:13 am

Reed says he encountered several students recently who made him realize how he wants to be remembered.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:13 am

“I take full responsibility for that,” Reed says of his actions the night of March 5.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:14 am

Reed thanks Cleveland Clinic for letting him go through their treatment program.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:15 am

Prior to his sentencing Zack Reed told Fox 8 News he still expects to win the election.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:18 am

Judge hands down $1,500 fine and 180 days of jail time for Zack Reed. Much of that is suspended or deferred.

Jessica Dabrowski September 5, 201310:19 am

Judge also ordered two years of probation. Another hearing will be held in 60 days.