LUDINGTON — Scottville Mayor Joe Baxter was arraigned in front of Magistrate Patricia Baker in 79th District Court this afternoon on a charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.
He posted personal bond with a bail of $2,500 and is scheduled for a pretrial in front of Judge Peter Wadel at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21.
On the morning of Oct. 18 Baxter, 62, drove his truck into the ravine past the end of East Second Street. Scottville Police Dept. was the first law enforcement to arrive on the scene but Chief Mark Barnett turned the case over to Michigan State Police because of the potential conflict of interest with a city official. Because the accident was a personal injury accident, the priority of emergency responders was to extricate Baxter from the scene and transport him by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center.
According to Michigan State Police records, Baxter’s blood alcohol level was recorded at .08 following a blood draw performed at Memorial Medical Center over two hours after the accident. Baxter’s arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Because Baxter has not been arrested, the arraignment will take place in the office of Magistrate Patricia Baker.
In November, Baxter was unanimously re-elected mayor by his fellow city commissioners. He was first elected in 2008. In Scottville, the city commission selects a sitting commissioner to become mayor during a bi-annual organizational meeting. Technically, the mayor of Scottville is a city commissioner who also serves as chair of the commission. Other duties include serving on the Scottville Main Street/Downtown Development Authority Board and the planning commission.
City commissioners get paid $50 per city commission meeting and the mayor gets paid an additional annual stipend of $500.