Angela River, 43, an Auburn Hills Republican who was appointed to the county board in a party-line vote on Tuesday, March 27, said she was arrested for drunk driving three times: Once in 1992, once in 1996, and once in 1999, all of which occurred in Oakland County.
She was in her early- to late-20s at the times of her arrests.
She said she “followed all the guidelines” of her sentencing, which included performing community service, attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as well as participation in a victims outreach program.
“It’s something I’m not proud of, but I have turned my life around,” said River, who up until her appointment to the county board had been vice-chairwoman of the Oakland County Republican Party. “I haven’t had anything for 13 years.”
A mother of two children, she said she was the only person in the vehicle each time she was arrested for impaired driving. None of those incidents resulted in accidents, she said.
A member of the Michigan Board of Cosmetology, she said she was vetted by Gov. Rick Snyder’s office before her appointment to that nine-member body. During that process, she said, if someone inquired about her driving record, she “disclosed (that information) when asked.”
She also said she told Oakland County commissioners about her arrests if she was asked about them.
Nine GOP commissioners cast their votes in favor of appointing River, while three — Commissioners Bob Hoffman (R-Highland), David Potts (R-Birmingham), and Jim Runestad (R-Waterford, White Lake) — supported Theresa Mungioli, and Commissioner Beth Nuccio (R-Ortonville) supported Major Guy during a Republican Caucus session.
All four of those commissioners who supported other candidates in caucus eventually cast their final votes in favor of River’s appointment to the county board.
River will fill the seat left vacant by former Commissioner Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), who won election to the state House of Representatives 28th District seat in February following the departure of former state Rep. Tim Melton (D-Auburn Hills) for a job in California.
The 11th County Commission District represents Auburn Hills, Pontiac, and Rochester Hills.
River has served on the Auburn Hills library board, the Auburn Hills Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board, and the steering committee for the Auburn Hills Senior Home Assistance Repair Program, among others.
She said last week that, among her goals, she wants to help the county maintain its AAA bond rating.
“I look forward to hearing from the constituents and representing them to the best of my ability,” she said last week.
River said she does not plan to seek election to the seat if she would have to run against any current Republican commissioners.
Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-West Bloomfield) said she was “disappointed” by the appointment of a Republican to the seat formerly held by a Democrat, as well as the selection process.
“(The Republicans) chose not to do any interviews,” she said, adding that River was the only candidate whose resume she requested, but she never received it. “She was not vetted.”
River’s term expires Dec. 31.
County commissioners serve two-year terms and are currently paid $32,093 annually.