Two officials with the Los Angeles Police Department pleaded not guilty to alcohol-related charges Wednesday — including driving under the influence and public intoxication — after they were allegedly found drunk in a vehicle in Glendale back in April, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
James Michael Kelly faces a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and a count of driving with a .08% blood-alcohol content while Nicole Mehringer faces a charge of public intoxication, according to the DA’s office. Kelly has been identified by the Los Angeles Times as a sergeant with the force and Mehringer was identified as a commander.
The charges against Kelly include an allegation he was driving with a BAC of .20 or more, according to prosecutors.
The two were allegedly drunk when they were found inside a vehicle near the intersection of Lomita Avenue and Brand Boulevard on April 27, prosecutors said. They were off-duty at the time.
The Times has reported the pair was found in an unmarked patrol vehicle and they were relieved of duty without pay as of July 11, citing an LAPD spokesperson.
Kelly and Mehringer were taken into custody after their vehicle was involved in a single-vehicle crash, Glendale police told KTLA at the time. When officers were investigating the scene of the crash, it became apparent that the two people inside the car were with the LAPD, according to Glendale police.
At the time, Kelly was arrested but Glendale police said Mehringer was only detained and not expected to face charges.
Their not guilty pleas were submitted by their attorneys on Wednesday, the DA’s office said. Each of them faces a possible maximum sentence of 180 days in jail if they’re convicted.
In July, off-duty LAPD Officer Ramon Muniz was also arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence following a crash in Glendale, according to authorities.