Prosecutors drop drunken driving charge against Ski Team chief
City Hall prosecutors earlier in July dropped a drunken driving charge against the president and CEO of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, acknowledging that they did not have the evidence they needed to convict him.
Bill Marolt instead forfeited $90 in bail in connection with a misdemeanor count of improper lane travel. Prosecutors essentially changed the charges from the original driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, plus two additional counts, to the lane violation, a far less serious charge than drunken driving.
"This has been an issue that I’ve taken very seriously. I respect the thorough review of the case and, while I’m pleased with the outcome, I do regret any distraction this matter has caused to our organization," Marolt said in a prepared statement released by the organization.
The Park Record was unable to contact Marolt’s attorney, Walter Bugden.
Had the drunken driving case proceeded, Marolt faced a sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.
The movement in the case, filed in Summit County Justice Court at Silver Summit, came nearly four months after a Park City police officer arrested Marolt during a March 17 traffic stop. The Park City Police Department said afterward an officer noticed what was described as an unusual driving pattern by Marolt, who was heading outbound on Deer Valley Drive in a 2009 Audi at just after 9 p.m.
The officer followed the Audi to the 2100 block of Monitor Drive, pulled Marolt over and arrested him on the drunken driving count, an improper-turn charge and a count of failing to dim the headlights.
In an interview after the court proceedings, Tom Daley, a City Hall attorney who handled part of the case, said there is "nothing unusual" about prosecutors dropping a charge that had been filed.
"I think the officer made the right decision, but we didn’t have enough evidence" to win a conviction on the drunken driving count, Daley said.
He acknowledged the Police Department did not provide prosecutors with results from a breath test that could then be used as evidence as a case was built against Marolt. Daley declined to elaborate, though.
Rick Ryan, a Police Department captain, said the officer who pulled over Marolt has been a full time officer in Park City for just more than a year. He had been a Police Department reservist and worked in the state’s Homeland Security Division before becoming a full-time officer, Ryan said, calling the officer "good."
Ryan defended the original charges, saying that the evidence led the police to determine there was probable cause for a drunken driving count.
"If they choose to amend, that’s their choice," Ryan said about prosecutors, adding, "I’m confident that our officers make arrests on probable cause."
The arrest came weeks after the closing of a highly successful Winter Olympics for Ski and Snowboard Association. Marolt was a 1964 Winter Olympic competitor and a successful ski racer in the 1960s.
He has helmed the Ski and Snowboard Association since 1996, and United States skiers and snowboarders have enjoyed some of their greatest on-the-snow accomplishments with Marolt at the helm.
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