Saratoga County

Spa County Public Defender charged with aggravated DWI

Saratoga County Public Defender Oscar Schreiber has been suspended by the county after he was arrest

Saratoga County Public Defender Oscar Schreiber has been suspended by the county after he was arrested on a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge Sunday night.

A city police report said Schreiber, 58, of Saratoga Springs, was arrested about 9:15 p.m. following a property damage accident near his home on Kaydeross Park Road.

The county has suspended him for 30 days without pay pending further investigation, County Administrator Spencer P. Hellwig III said. He said Schreiber informed him of the arrest Monday morning and the suspension decision was made in consultation with Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Matthew Veitch, R-Saratoga Springs.

“The criminal justice process and the disposition of this case will be decided by the court system, not Saratoga County government,” Hellwig said in a statement.

“I will be working with Chairman Veitch and the Board of Supervisors to determine a long-term course of action, which cannot be finalized until the case reaches a final disposition,” Hellwig said.

Schreiber was arrested on charges of misdemeanor DWI, driving with a blood alcohol above 0.08 percent and aggravated driving while intoxicated, city police said.

The aggravated charge indicates Schreiber had a blood-alcohol level above 0.18 percent, but his actual level isn’t being disclosed, said police spokesman Lt. Robert Jillson.

Jillson said police received a 911 call about a car hitting a snowbank, then going across a driveway and hitting a light pole. The call was received at 8:38 p.m., with the caller stating that he and his daughter were almost hit, according to the police blotter.

Police found Schreiber’s car in his nearby driveway and contacted him inside the residence, leading to his arrest, Jillson said.

Schreiber did not return a call Monday seeking comment on his arrest. He was released into a friend’s custody without any bail being set.

Schreiber has been a criminal defense lawyer in the county for three decades and was named the county’s public defender in May 2013. He has worked in the public defender’s office for 24 years and had been the office’s full-time first assistant defender since 2010. He is slated to earn $124,734 in 2015.

The public defender’s office represents poor and indigent defendants who can’t afford a lawyer, appearing in both criminal and family court.

With five assistants, the public defender’s office handles about 1,900 misdemeanor cases and more than 300 felony or family court cases each year.

While also administering the office, Schreiber has appeared in county and local courts on a regular basis, often handling felony cases.

First Assistant Public Defender Andrew C. Blumenberg is expected to oversee the office while Schreiber is suspended.

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