Champaign city councilman pleads guilty to DUI charge

By Kathleen Foody

Champaign City Council member Ken Pirok pleaded guilty to driving under the influence last Friday.

According to the police accident report, Pirok was arrested early in the morning on Aug. 11 at the White Horse Inn, 112 E. Green St., Champaign. He allegedly struck the rear bumper of the car parked next to him in the lot while backing out, re-parked his car and went back into the bar.

Pirok’s attorney, Robert Kirchner, said the councilman went back into the bar to find the driver of the car he hit but was arrested before he could do so.

Kirchner said the facts of the case do not warrant the manner it was handled.

“It is virtually defamatory for the officer to claim Mr. Pirok was leaving the scene,” he said.

A Champaign County State’s Attorney employee said Pirok was also charged with failure to give accident notice and unsafe backing on a roadway, but those charges were dropped when he pleaded guilty to the DUI.

Pirok refused to take a Breathalyzer test during his arrest and lost his driver’s license.

He has already applied for and received approval for a judicial license that would allow him to drive to and from work.

He was sentenced to 12 months of court supervision and ordered to pay a $700 fine. He must also serve 150 hours of community service.

Pirok said he had considered filing a complaint against the Champaign police officer who arrested him because the allegation that he tried to leave the scene was improper, but he could not give any more information yesterday afternoon.

In regards to sentencing, Kirchner said the case