County Commissioner Dan Foley (left) is challenging state Rep. J. Todd Smith in this fall’s election.

County Commissioner Dan Foley accused in TV ad of misusing authority during traffic stop

Foley is challenging state Rep. J. Todd Smith for the 43rd District statehouse seat in this fall’s election.

The ad features dash-cam video of a field sobriety test administered to Foley after the car he was driving was stopped by a Brookville police officer in June.

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Foley, a Democrat, was pulled over June 23 by Brookville Police for driving 44 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone, according to police records. Foley said he told the officer that he had had one beer earlier that day. Foley said he passed a field sobriety test, was ticketed for speeding and paid his fine a few days later.

“ I was wrong to speed, and paid the ticket in a timely manner, ” Foley said in a written statement today. “I thank the officer for his service and for following all protocol to keep our community safe. I was disappointed to see my opponent’s allies attack this officer’s reputation and accuse him of a crime.”

The 30-second ad, which is airing on Dayton-area TV stations, is funded by Hardworking Ohioans, Inc., a political action committee that is spending heavily in several close races for House seats.

The ad claims that Foley failed “multiple sobriety tests” and used his position as a county commissioner to avoid being cited for drunk driving. The ad labels him “just another corrupt politician” and closes by saying “We can’t trust Drunk Dan Foley.”

The 22-minute dash cam video shows Foley walking a toe to heel line multiple times for officers along the roadside. There is no audio and viewers cannot hear what was said.

Brookville police Chief Douglas Jerome said Tuesday morning he has seen the ad but declined to offer more details on the traffic stop or comment on the officers’ actions.

Jerome said the traffic stop generated no detailed report beyond the speeding citation and a short officer’s log description.

The Brookville department received a public information request for the information within the past two of weeks, Jerome said.

Foley is running for the 43rd House district against state Rep. J. Todd Smith, a Republican who was appointed to the seat in July. The seat had been held by Republican Jeff Rezabek until he resigned to become Montgomery County Juvenile Court judge.

Smith, the Republican incumbent facing Foley, responded Tuesday: “Since my entry into politics, I have run a positive and issue-focused campaign. That has not and will not change. The events that have now come to light concerning Commissioner Foley are his issues, and he alone has the right and responsibility to address them. Any questions about this event should be directed to Dan Foley.”

 Smith, who lives in Jackson Twp. and is a pastor at churches in Farmersville and West Chester, was sworn in during July to fill a vacant seat. By late morning Smith had seen the ad that he said also came as a surprise to him. 

 “What I do for a living is show respect even with people whom I disagree. I’ve always done that. Me and Dan have always had an amicable – even personal – ability to interact. I’m going to keep it that way.”

Related: Smith takes office to fill vacant Ohio House seat

The highly competitive district covers parts of Dayton, Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County.

“This ad is an act of desperation,” said Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton, in a written statement. “To accuse the Brookville police officer of corruption to score political points is shameful. This ad impugns the reputation of the ticketing officer, and suggests corruption within the department despite zero evidence.”

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