A Napa Police sergeant has been ordered to spend 10 days in jail in connection with a drunken-driving incident reported last summer, according to court records.

Ryan Cole, 42, on Thursday entered a no-contest plea for a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and admitted a special allegation for having more than 0.15 percent blood alcohol content in his system, according to court records. A no-contest plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea at sentencing.

Court Commissioner Victoria Wood ordered Cole, a Napa resident, to spend 10 days in jail, pay a $2,174 fine and perform 40 hours of community service or county work program duty, according to court records.

Wood ordered Cole to report to the Napa County jail on April 6. As part of the plea agreement, Wood placed Cole on probation for five years.

Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said Cole, who remains on the force, has been on medical leave since last fall. An internal affairs investigation is underway.

The court action stems from a crash reported last August in downtown Napa. At about 2:45 a.m. on Aug. 24, Cole was driving his pickup truck when he allegedly sideswiped a parked vehicle in the 2200 block of Second Street and then drove to a city-owned parking lot near Second and Seminary streets, according to court records.

A resident heard the collision and called 911, Troendly said in December. A Napa County sheriff’s deputy in the area contacted Cole in the parking lot, according to Troendly.

Cole’s blood alcohol content level was 0.17 percent — more than twice the legal limit, according to court records.

In exchange for his plea, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office dismissed two misdemeanors: driving while having a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol content with special allegation, and hit-and-run, according to court records.

Mervin Lernhart Jr., Cole’s attorney, could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

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(29) comments

takehikes

My son hit a parked car while drunk. He stayed right there and faced the music when he could have driven a half block to his home. Indeed the officer (maybe it was this one!) even wrote it up that he was cooperative. That is the issue here, this officer took off and didn't man up.
The actual sentence allowed for first time DUI is 6 months. However in most cases its 2 days in jail, a fine, driving school and some community service (usually a day or two). That's for someone that faces the music like my son. This officer is lucky he got off with 10 days and the fine. Personal problems and stresses are your own problem, not the communities until you do something this stupid. Then the community decides what to do about it.

napa1957

I thought it rather convenient that Officer Cole has been on medical leave (assuming that he is still being paid by us) since the fall. Incident was on Aug. 26. I had a relative with a drinking problem who worked for the state of CA, They actually paid his way to Duffy's to dry out...while he was still being paid by us. Happened more than once, until he crossed a line that even the state couldn't help him with. We are still paying for his livelihood....in SQ.

bowlerhat

In my humble opinion, it's time for a NEW DA for our County . . .

Vote for Tom Kensok (http://www.tomkensok.com/about/). His felony conviction rate in Contra Costa County is 73% . . .

The good doctor

To you editor: you clearly never post Any of my comments and at this time feel it is clear discrimination as many of py comments have been clearly thoughtful and honest with no crude and ignorant content unlike many other posts that make it through. I don't want any response as it is All political correctedness gossamer with avoidance,dismissive,and patronizing language. I feel I must truly understand the process and nefarious going ons in this department as favoritism and one sided allowances of what is cleared is the norm. I plan on talking with the appropriate persons who may help elucidate this corruption and discrimination to me as a citizen of napa who has clear rights and expressions being discarded. Very disappointing but even more confusing. Hopefully I will be able to talk to the appropriate persons to allow for my civil rights to be protected and right to free speech particularly. Post sections should be deleted until an investigation in this corruption is fairly processed.

StillInNapa

It happens to me, quite frequently, with no rhyme or reason based on the comments that make it through. I wonder if there are several moderators at NVR, one having much stricter standards than the others. Don't give up, his/her shift can't last all day! Thanks NVR for posting most of our comments! Ps could you tell one of your moderators to ease up a bit?

Old Time Napkin

napasnotright, actually 10 days is severe for a first offense DUI. As I recall most only get 2 days in jail. I suspect he will lose his job, so that's another form of punishment if it happens. I don't know any facts other than was has been reported in the NVR, but it looks to me like this man's life is not going to be easy after one DUI. Have any of you had friends that were punished with 10 days in jail on their first DUI?

StillInNapa

He is very fortunate in the plea deal he received. The DA dropped the hit and run charge, so that won't show up on his record. I think the appropriate questionb you should be asking is: Have any of you had friends involved in a hit and run while driving with more then twice the legal limit and had all charges dropped except for first offense dui with fines and 10 days in jail?

napasnotright

Old time napkin you are right about 10 days for a first time dui being harsh i agree. However seems you are conviently forgetting that they were also charging him with a hit and run which is much more serious then the dui as far as the law goes

Old Time Napkin

The DUI was in fact dropped as part of the plea agreement. Since it was an unoccupied car that was hit that type of plea agreement is made frequently. Go check some of the past DUI's that have a hit and run involved and you will see that the DUI guilty plea to avoid a trial is predicated on dropping the hit and run. Most of these suspects got two days in jail. I suspect it's not over yet for this man. His career is on the line and that's a worse punishment than the 10 days in jail. Basically he'll be paying for the rest of is life for what is considered a misdemeanor crime. .

Napa Roots

Old time Napkin: Most people get pulled over and receive a DUI then serve two day. This guy hit a parked car and left the scene. He is a sworn police officer and should have known better. If you can not follow the laws you swore to uphold then how can you expect the rest of the citizens to comply with said law. He should and will be fired.

kathdel1

This is very unfortuanate; certainly a humiiation for the department and the sergeant charged; particulary in his ranking of supervisor. I served in law enforcement for several years working in various roles and holding different levels of responsibiilty. I now own and operate a consulting practice providing classes to public safety personnel. I have noticed the changes in law enforcement over the past decade - or more. There are many more challenges; however, it does not seem they receive adequate or correct training from the correct professionals for the circumstances - both professionally and personally that they confront. I train officers and ranking personnel throughout the bay area and hear the same issues repeatedly. I have observed a good number of officers to exhibit inmature behavior -onsidering they are suppose to be hired based on there maturity and supposed proof of this during the hiring process; we do have a good department and I do support. I wish the best outcome.

napasnotright

Law enforcement should be held at a higher standard then private citizens. They are our servants and took the job knowing that. However more often then not they act like they are our bosses. If you are a public servant/cop who is supposed to be upstanding and uphold the law and you violate it one you should get fired and two you should get a way stricter sentence then a private citizen. Thats my opinion. 10 days is a joke

PlainJane14

✔✔

Crosscountrykid
Crosscountrykid

When the NVR first reported on this story a while ago, I recall how many letters in this forum castigated the paper for its coverage. The personal circumstances are tragic, but its gratifying the NVR didn't cave in to the pressure of dealing with a locally unpopular issue.

jojojackson
jojojackson

Gary Lieberstein NEEDS to GO! VOTE THIS D.A. Out of Office in this years election..

In exchange for his plea, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office dismissed two misdemeanors: driving while having a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol content with special allegation, and hit-and-run, according to court records.

Next time your family member is charged with a DUI, Ask the D.A., if they tell the truth will the D.A. drop the DUI and hit and run charges, and watch them (the whole DA's office) Laugh You out of Court.

northbayman

It is typical practice for many of the counties in the Bay Area to drop other charges when a defendant pleas no contest. This is the trade off. Some DAs are even willing to drop the primary offense to a lesser offense because defendants are pleading no contest. Still, Napa County DA is more strict than some other counties such as Alameda County. DAs have been known to drop burglary or robbery charges down to grand theft if the defendants pleas no contest in Alameda County. Ive yet heard of that happening in Napa County, which is great!

glenroy
glenroy

There's obviously more to the story than being reported...you can bet the union will fight for his job and win....

When ever a jail term is issued it should mean DQ as a peace offficer....there has to be a line....jail time should be it for anyone in law enforcement.


northbayman

xXGotGrapesXx- If you think that there is one perfect organization, you're wrong. It does not matter if it's a police department or a private company, there will always be someone who makes a bad decision and disrepute a department. In this case, it makes the local law enforcement look bad. However, the Sgt. pled guilty and is not contesting, admitting that he made a bad call. So for you to say that they make their own rules makes you absolutely wrong because clearly they do not make their own rules, hence he got caught and indicted. And he is serving the time for it making him accountable. Furthermore, them being aggressive is totally irrelevant. It sounds like you have a problem with LEOs. Perhaps you have been making bad decisions as well.....hmmmmmm

xXGotGrapesXx

Scary!! Lol.
Wrong. You must be a Putin advocate.
Cole should be fired. Period.

Napa
Napa

Being in the Law enforcement field is a truly stressful job and duty. All our officers and deputies in the different fields are under tremendous stress putting their lives on the line every day and night. I pray Sergeant Cole gets the help he needs and returns to full duty for the Napa Police. Putting up and dealing with all kinds of various personalities and people easy and violent is not an easy task by any means. Our local law enforcement needs our full support not our scorn. I truly respect the badge and the man or woman who wears it proudly in uniform. May they all always be protected with the tremendous tasks they have to handle on a daily basis. May God truly bless them and their families with his protection and guidance to always make the split second decisions they need during the performance of their line of duty. Thanks to each and every one of you for your devoted service in this city and beyond.

xXGotGrapesXx

This isn't about supporting local police as much as it is unveiling the corruption of local police. They make their own rules and are not held accountable. And they are extremely aggressive.

rocketman
rocketman

............did you even read the article? Please explain the corruption. The officer was processed just like anyone else and has been sentenced. He is also going to be disciplined accordingly by his employer. (Which be the way rarely happens to anyone else) So again, please explain how this is "unveiling the corruption of local police"? Where is this civilian/officer making his own rules and not being held accountable?
Your comment reeks of law enforcement bias, that's what I got out of your comment.

y2kcbr
y2kcbr

Cry me a river. We all have problems in life. If there was no accident, this guy would have driven down your street and hit your kids on the block the next time work stressed him out.

Wineandfood

Many of us have stressful jobs and many of us would be fired if we broke the law. Police officers should not be treated any differently. And the stress is why they have that huge pension!

StillInNapa

Really? Pathetic! A family that can't feed their children, pay their rent, or afford to fill a prescription knows more stress then Cole ever will. But even the poor have no excuse for what Cole has done. . .Just as Cole.

northbayman

StillnNapa- A family that cannot do any of what you mentioned should have obtained higher education, work harder in life, and if all else fails, there is always section 8 housing and food stamps paid for by people who actually work hard in life. So dont try to use poverty as leverage in your argument....it doesnt work!!!!

StillInNapa

What are you saying, exactly? Do you believe that stress is an excuse for drinking and driving and hit and run? Pathetic! A cop should be held to a higher standard! His pay alone should compel him to attain a higher standard, not to mention the fact that it is his duty to arrest and enter the court as a witness against those who break similar and lesser laws. We all have stress, but how many have an excuse to do what Cole did? Perhaps in his future job he will realize how good he had it.

Valid8everything

Nothing less than an auto accident could stop a drunk driver. If that driver happened to be a police man that is. I know this person and do not want to make his shame worse by bad mouthing him, in a way it is a weird comfort to know that cops are human and make mistakes too. All in all I'd have to say that I'm glad no one was hurt, I feel sorry for officer Cole since his career is over as a police man and he'll have to find a new line of work. Let's not further his fall from grace by ostracizing him or treating him like a pariah.

StillInNapa

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time....

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