CROWN POINT — A Hobart Township official facing multiple felony drunken driving offenses remained in judicial limbo Wednesday, participating in a veterans treatment court program while remaining unable to officially join the program.
David Scheeringa, who lost his re-election bid in the May primary, is charged in five operating while intoxicated cases. He appeared in court Wednesday for a fourth time seeking admission into Judge Julie Cantrell's veterans treatment court.
Defense attorney Thomas S. Mullins echoed statements he has made at each of Scheeringa's court hearings. He told the judge the Lake County prosecutor's office still has not made a decision on whether to admit Scheeringa into the program.
He said he provided prosecutors additional information about his client, but he learned a decision on Scheeringa's admission into the program had to come from Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter.
Cantrell noted for the fifth month Scheeringa, who is wearing an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet, has had no violations. She scheduled a new hearing for Aug. 8.
Scheeringa filed a petition in January seeking to have his cases refiled in veterans treatment court, which offers treatment and the potential of alternative sentencing for veterans.
The state filed a memorandum Feb. 1 denying Scheeringa entry into the treatment court. Scheeringa served only four months and 15 days of active duty in the U.S. Army, the memorandum states, which made it “highly unlikely” there was a connection between the charges and his military service.
The state also refused to offer Scheeringa a plea deal, which was a requirement for a participant in veterans treatment court.
Scheeringa was seeking re-election as a Hobart Township board member, despite being charged in five separate cases with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was not re-elected.
The most recent arrest came after he left a bar June 28 in the 500 block of Third Street in Hobart. He allegedly pulled into traffic without headlights or a turn signal and continued onto Main Street, where he swerved across traffic lines several times before he was stopped by a Hobart patrolman.