UTICA — A Utica City Court judge Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Thomas Giruzzi after the former Oneida County STOP DWI coordinator failed to appear for a second time on a charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs.
Giruzzi, 54, previously missed an April 24 court proceeding where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by attorney David Longeretta. Longeretta later said Giruzzi was seeking substance treatment at an out-of-state medical facility. At that time, he told reporters Giruzzi would either be present or "Skype" in via video chat for the May 15 court appearance.
On Wednesday, however, Giruzzi did not appear in person or via video, and Longeretta instead suggested Judge John Gannon conduct the arraignment over the telephone.
"I made arrangements for a telephonic arraignment, but the judge rejected it," he said.
Longeretta said Giruzzi is still in treatment and the options are for him to appear in court for an arraignment or for local police to travel out of state to pick him up and bring him back.
Both options would disrupt his treatment, where he is doing "exceedingly well," Longeretta said.
Giruzzi was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs after he was stopped on the evening of March 5 while driving north on Genesee Street in downtown Utica. Police allege he was driving without wearing a seatbelt and while using a mobile phone. He also was found to be in possession of cocaine during the traffic stop, police said.