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Frawley found guilty of DUI in Fairfax
Frawley enters plea to DUI charges in Fairfax, gets suspended sentence

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Date published: 9/22/2007


FAIRFAX--Ousted University of Mary Washington President William Frawley, convicted of drunken driving twice this week, won't be spending time behind bars.

Frawley entered an Alford plea yesterday in Fairfax County to a driving while intoxicated charge. He entered the same plea to a similar misdemeanor charge in Fredericksburg Tuesday.

An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict.

The judge suspended a 30-day jail sentence and all but $300 of a $1,000 fine. He also suspended Frawley's driving privileges for a year and ordered him to receive substance-abuse treatment.

"He's getting significant treatment right now," defense attorney Peter Greenspun told the judge.

Frawley faced a minimum 10-day jail sentence in Fairfax because his blood alcohol content was 2 times the legal limit when he flipped his university car April 10, according to court documents.

The judge chose not to take that action, but he warned Frawley not to break the terms of his yearlong probation.

"I will not hesitate to put you in jail for 30 days," Judge Mitchell I. Mutnick said at the end of the five-minute court appearance.

Frawley, standing by his attorney, stared at the judge and nodded his head. His wife, Maria, watched from the fourth row of the courtroom's benches.

Frawley did not speak to reporters afterward. He shook hands and chatted briefly with UMW spokeswoman Teresa Mannix, the only school employee to attend the proceeding.

Greenspun called Frawley a man with a "brilliant history" and linked his problems to a medical issue. After his April arrests, Frawley issued an apology to the university and said he was recovering from a heart disorder. The condition was not mentioned in court yesterday.

On Tuesday, Frawley entered an Alford plea to a driving under the influence charge in Fredericksburg.

The judge in that case suspended his license for a year, fined him $500 plus court costs, and ordered him to attend alcohol-abuse sessions.

Frawley's driving restrictions eventually will carry over to Maryland, where he lives, Greenspun said. The double convictions mean his license likely will be suspended for two years.

On April 11, Frawley was arrested in Fredericksburg after a fellow motorist called police to report he was swerving his car into oncoming traffic and driving across the Chatham Bridge with his right front tire missing.

He told a police officer he had consumed six bottles of cough medicine, according to a police report.

The UMW board of visitors fired Frawley "for cause" after his arrests and is now searching for a new president.

Frawley requested mediation earlier this year, possibly to receive a monetary settlement from UMW. The school met with a mediator at its summer retreat, but the process is still ongoing.

"Dr. Frawley wanted to bring finality to this matter," Greenspun said outside the courtroom yesterday. "He's pleased to be able to have this behind him and look forward to a healthy and successful future."

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com