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Councilman Relieved of His License

January 13, 2002|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A city councilman who drove without a license for 25 years had his new driver's license suspended for six months.

Angel Ortiz, 60, was convicted Friday of two of seven citations for driving without a license, and paid a $550 fine. He faced a maximum of three years in prison if convicted on all seven citations.

"I stand on my record. My record either survives or not," Ortiz said. "It's up to the people."

Ortiz has had a city car since he became records commissioner in 1984. He has served on the City Council since the mid-1980s.

After he was confronted by a TV news crew, Ortiz admitted never getting a Pennsylvania license after moving from New York in 1976.

Lawyers for Ortiz questioned the use of a news video to prosecute the case, noting that Ortiz was never stopped by police for driving without a license. Police mailed the summons Nov. 29.

"There is no authority by the cameraman to issue a ticket," said lawyer Obra Kernodle.

In November, Ortiz paid more than $3,000 to settle 53 unpaid parking tickets. He also got the new license that was suspended Friday.

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