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Man who was listed as a director at GCASA accused of driving while impaired by drugs

By Howard B. Owens

A former director at GCASA is apparently no longer working for the drug and alcohol treatment agency after being arrested earlier this month for allegedly driving while impaired by drugs.

John T. Walker, 50, of Old Meadow Lane, Batavia, was arrested following a report of an erratic driver in the city at 5:07 p.m., Oct.14.

Until recently, Walker was listed on the GCASA Web site as director of clinical and residential services. He reportedly listed his employer at the time of his arrest as GCASA.

John Bennett, executive director of GCASA, said he could not comment on personnel matters.

Police responded to a complaint Oct. 14 of an erratic driver after a witness reported seeing a 2000 Chevy Tracker leave the roadway for about 25 yards on East Main Street near Tractor Supply. The driver appeared unable to maintain his lane, according to the witness. The witness followed the Tracker to the parking lot outside Eastown Beverage, at which point the driver parked and walked into the store.

"As he walked, his gait was slow and unstable," the witness wrote.

At that point, Officer Felicia DeGroot arrived on scene and approached the male driver. Officer Jason Davis arrived on scene and conducted a field sobriety test.

According to court documents, Walker passed a breath test but allegedly failed the field sobriety test.

He was taken back to the police station and processed for alleged driving while impaired by drugs, first offense, which is an infraction.

Walker has not yet appeared in City Court on the charge. He's not scheduled to appear until Nov. 6, yet he appears to be out of a job.

We attempted to contact Walker for comment. In the arrest report, Walker apparently gave officers his work phone number and the only home phone number listing we could find has been disconnected.

Tim Miller

Well, at least introductions at his first support meeting will be brief...

But seriously - I wonder if this was due to a medical condition as opposed to a drug issue (would it be cruel to hope that is the reason?). It would seem that somebody so familiar with drug abuse would try to avoid using.

Oct 25, 2013, 5:29pm Permalink
Bob Harker

Reserving an opinion until exoneration or conviction. I do, however, buy into the concept of addiction as a disease that can be put into remission but can never be cured.

Oct 25, 2013, 5:52pm Permalink
Kyle Slocum

In many cases, the motivator for people to become counselors who treat addiction is that they themselves are in recovery and they want to share that personal victory with others. A result of that is that your average clinical staff treating addiction has a higher propensity for falling off the wagon and suffering a setback, than most workplaces.

I have no idea what Mr. Walker's challenges may, or may not, be. But I hope they are challenges that he can meet and overcome.

Some times, our worst errors are our best teachers. Other times, we have to fight the good fight to prove ourselves innocent of what others think that we have done. Time will tell us which of that is what.

Oct 25, 2013, 8:33pm Permalink
Bob Heininger

"I do, however, buy into the concept of addiction as a disease"

I take exception to addiction being considered a disease. A disease typically is not something one chooses to get and I consider it a copout excuse in the context of abusive substance use. An addiction to substances is merely a choice a person makes.

Source: I'm a sober for 14 years alcoholic.

Oct 26, 2013, 10:17am Permalink

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