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Judge finds Rey Colon not guilty of DUI, attorney says

Ald. Rey Colon was found not guilty of DUI by a Cook County judge on Monday, his attorney said.

The DUI threatened to cast a pall over Colon’s race for re-election as 35th Ward alderman, representing Logan Square.

“He’s relieved. The election is only 40 days away,” said Colon’s attorney, Thomas P. Needham. “He was confident that he would get a fair shake in court and he wanted to go back to his community and say he was not guilty of what he was accused of.”

During a bench trial at the Daley Center, Judge James P. Pieczonka watched a video of Colon performing roadside sobriety tests last July, when Illinois State Police pulled him over on the Eisenhower, Needham said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the judge said Colon was able to walk in a straight line and stand “quite rigid and straight” during the sobriety tests.

Also in Colon’s favor was his refusal of a Breathalyzer test. That left Pieczonka without much evidence to base a guilty verdict on, Needham said.

Colon did not return a message seeking comment, and a spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, which prosecuted Colon, did not return a voicemail Monday night.

On July 25, Colon was driving west on the Eisenhower Expressway, near Homan, when he was pulled over shortly before 1 a.m. by a trooper who observed Colon’s Honda SUV weaving in its lane, state police said at the time.

Colon was given citations for DUI, no driver’s license, improper lane use and failure to signal when changing lanes. The alderman also had an expired driver’s license.

Though Colon escaped a DUI conviction Monday, he was found guilty of driving on an expired license and failure to use a turn signal, Needham said.

Court records show Colon was previously charged with DUI in 1995; he was given court supervision and the charge was later cleared.

The arrest came back to haunt him in 2007 when he ran for re-election against Vilma Colom, whom he previously ousted from office. Colom sent out mailers highlighting Rey Colon’s arrests on charges of drunken driving and driving with a suspended license.