By Richard Ilgenfritz
A member of Tredyffrin’s Zoning Hearing Board appears to have caught a lucky break in court this week following her arrest in May on charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
And just what was the lucky break?
A police officer failed to appear on the day of her scheduled summary trial. As a result, she was found not guilty, records show.
According to the citations, Suzanne Pratowski, 37, of Wayne was arrested and charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct following incidents May 29.
Messages left for Pratowski Thursday and Friday seeking comment were not returned.
Police officials Thursday describe the absence of the officer at the hearing as an oversight….But another question is whether or not someone from outside of the department could have influenced a member of the police department since Pratowski would be considered a township official in a position that is appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
“Oh no. That does not happen,” Landis said emphatically. “We are equal opportunity arresters. Missing a hearing, that can happen. But influence from someone outside – we can’t tell officers that and we wouldn’t. More than likely, if a police administrator told an officer [not to go to a hearing] he would go anyway.”
The public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges date back to May when, police say, Pratowski was supposed to pick up her kids at her ex-husband’s house on Franklin Lane….The ex-husband then showed police a custody agreement that indicated Pratowski was not allowed to drink alcohol 10 hours before driving and picking up the children. Pratowski had previously been arrested and charged with DUI in 2010. In that case, she was initially charged with endangering the welfare of children.
According to records, the endangering charges were later withdrawn but she did plead guilty to the DUI charges from that incident….Later that night, police say Pratowski rode her bike to the area near her ex-husband’s house. After being stopped by police, an officer reported getting a .18 blood alcohol level on her by using a portable breath test. That was when the officer wrote that he Pratowski would be cited for public drunkenness and criminal mischief.
Is it just me or is this just a little funky? Suzanne Pratowski, Zoning Hearing Board member in Tredyffrin gets picked up and pulled over for public drunkeness and related offenses like disorderly conduct in May (see dockets below – follow hyperlinks), and well isn’t it just so cute and magical that the Tredyffrin police officers failed to show in court the other day which means she goes free.
I am so sorry, but really, is that a “lucky” break? No show or failed to show? I mean seriously? I have yes heard of police officers having conflicts, but then often another officer is sent for a stand-in or there is a rescheduling.
What else struck me as odd when I pulled up the dockets? If I am reading them correctly the cases were also transferred to another judge? Why the case transfers in between Magisterial District Judge Thomas W. Tartaglio and Magisterial District Judge Analisa Sondergaard?
I found that I believe Suzanne Pratowski works for Kuranda Mortgage? Would that be the place next to the thankfully defunct Cooz’s Corner in Wayne?
Here is what her business profile on the Kuranda site says:
Suzanne Pratowski started her insurance career as a Surety underwriter in 2000 with Chubb Group of Insurance Companies in Philadelphia. After two and a half years there, she moved on to a more senior position as a Contract Surety underwriter at The Hartford in King of Prussia. Suzy made the difficult decision to leave The Hartford after 3 years to spend more time at home with her two small children….Suzy grew up in Montgomery County and has been living on the Main Line since 1995. She graduated from Villanova University and lives in Wayne, PA. Suzy is an active member in the community, volunteers at her children’s schools, and sits on the Zoning Hearing Board for Tredyffrin Township. When she is not busy with all of her volunteer activities, Suzy enjoys spending time with her two boys, cooking, and playing golf.
Ok so based on the article she’s a divorcee. Logic would dictate she probably has primary custody of her kids, which means she might need a night out once in a while to let off steam. But I am sorry, she is a PUBLIC official as well as a MOTHER and she isn’t 18. She should be embarrassed, I would question her fitness to serve on the zoning board in Tredyffrin because maybe she has some unfortunate *stress* issues, and who doesn’t question the mysteriously disappearing Tredyffrin police officers when it came to court? And doesn’t THAT bite the big one to put officers of the law in a position like this?
Not trying to be a hard ass with this woman if she is having issues, but seriously, she is old enough not to act like an alley cat when she goes out. And she is very lucky because a lot of employers do not smile favorably on behavior like this.
The Main Line Media News article says she had a DUI in 2010. I could not find that court docket, so the record may be expunged.
I don’t know people this who thing just smells funky. REALLY, REALLY FUNKY. Do I file this under “how embarrassing to be a Republican in Chester County?”
Am I missing something? Or is this just Tredyffrin being Tredyffrin?
This woman sounds like she needs a come to Jesus talk and a 12 step program at a minimum. And once again I question her fitness to serve on any board in Tredyffrin at this time. And the hall pass she in effect got needs a LOT more explaining. Things that seem too cute in politics, generally are.
At the end of the day, I have to still wonder who was in the car with Ms. Pratowski? No one ever said and don’t you wonder given the cozy society photo the MEDIA (not me, not any blogger) put out there?
What is Suzanne Pratowski’s relationship with Tredyffrin Township Supervisor John “J.D”. DiBuonaventuro? I think whatever it is, maybe that needs to be cleared up, don’t you? Public officials do indeed deserve private lives, but unfortunately for Mr. DiBuonaventuro as per Tredyffrin’s website he is Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors. And Suzanne Pratowski is on the Zoning Hearing Board. So whether they like it or not, people are going to talk. Best to clear it up now so there is no misperception, right?
Oh Tredyffrin, the way the tongues are way wagging on this one (I had NO idea until I put up this post), it might get really ugly. For Suzanne Pratowski’s sake I hope not…..she obviously needs help, not more weird pressure.
And why is it we did not hear about this incident which happened in May until August? Has anyone found this in the police briefs? Usually when a public official does something like this some paper or media source will pick it up ASAP? Like remember when the former police chief let his kid drive an official vehicle? That was EVERYWHERE so fast, yet this? Was this incident covered up and only got out with the whole court thing by accident?
End Note: I took down the photo with the kids in it. I did NOT have to take it down, as it was Suzanne Pratowski herself who must have provided the photo to Kuranda Mortgage. I have received a lot of feedback on and off the blog for this post, and as someone sagely said to me today:
…..And, she most certainly could have been arrested for DUI for riding the bike drunk. It happens all the time. People have even gotten DUI’s on horses. So that is ANOTHER break she got.Obviously this woman has a drinking problem, is most likely an alcoholic and should be at the very least attending AA to discover the extent of her problem and address it – if not immediate detox/rehab depending on the severity.I don’t like to judge those with drinking problems as I consider it a disease. At the same time, you are responsible for your actions regardless and she is a public figure and has obviously gotten preferential treatment so I see what has happened along those lines as an issue of public concern