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Councilman charged AGAIN for Driving on a suspeneded licence

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Erie county councilman charged again for driving on a suspended licence.


Erie County Councilman Ebert Beeman said Tuesday he does not remember being pulled over for driving on a suspended license earlier this month.

It has been at least two years since he was arrested for that, he said.

The Waterford councilman -- already beset by legal problems, including a federal indictment -- faces new charges, nonetheless.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday filed two new summary charges of driving on a suspended license against Beeman, according to court records.

Chief County Detective Larry Dombrowski said Beeman is correct. No traffic stop preceded the citations.

Instead, Beeman was caught, apparently unawares, on surveillance cameras driving away from a street near the Erie County Courthouse in a black Jeep SUV on June 1 and 9, Dombrowski said.

Dombrowski said authorities received a tip that Beeman had been seen driving.

Security cameras at the courthouse then captured images of Beeman getting in a vehicle in the first block of West Fifth Street and driving away, Dombrowski said.

"We had the Sheriff's Office check the surveillance video after getting the tip," he said. "He was seen getting into the Jeep and driving away both times."

The citations were filed in Erie 4th Ward District Judge Tom Robie's office. If Beeman is convicted of the counts, they would mark his seventh and eighth convictions for driving on a suspended license.

When asked how he planned to respond to the new charges, Beeman said, "I don't know."

Beeman has given various explanations in the past for why he does not carry a valid driver's license.

He has said he does not believe the state has the right to require him to provide his Social Security number. He has also said that his license became invalid because he mistakenly provided the wrong Social Security number to the state Department of Transportation.

The new traffic charges come as Beeman is being prosecuted in U.S. District Court on eight felony counts of Social Security fraud, which accuse him of using the fake name William George Beman to fraudulently obtain a Social Security number and then used that number to apply for three jobs, four credit cards and a car loan between June 2006 and August.

Beeman will receive the summons in the mail on the new traffic charges, according to court records.

On Tuesday, Beeman said he has finished serving the sentence for his sixth conviction of driving on a suspended license. But, he said, he does not have his license back.

Judge Shad Connelly in August 2010 ordered Beeman to serve six months of intensive probation, starting with 30 days of electronic monitoring, perform 25 hours of community service and pay a $1,300 fine after Beeman pleaded guilty to summary charges of driving without a license and failing to comply with the directions of a police officer.

Beeman, police said, was driving on a suspended license in the 600 block of Parade Street in December 2009. When confronted by police, he rolled his window back up and tried to lock his door, police said.

The officers opened the door and ordered Beeman to get out, but he refused, police said.