HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A police report describes Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick as “visibly intoxicated” before getting a ride home with a police officer.
Hartwick was at the 7-Eleven on Derry Street in Swatara Township around 1 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16. His county-owned SUV was parked in front. A Swatara Township officer came into the store and encountered Hartwick, who had “bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol emanating from his breath.” The officer asked Hartwick if he needed a ride home and, after clearing it with a superior, drove the commissioner home, according to the report.
Some suggest that’s preferential treatment for a public official. Swatara Police Chief Darrell Reider says he stands by his officer who followed policy, and since he didn’t see Hartwick driving under the influence or acting disorderly had no reason to arrest him. He further noted that Hartwick has been cited in the past without favor.
ABC27 has learned the evening began with a private party at the St. Lawrence Club in Steelton where Hartwick was cut off by a bartender.
It’s unclear where he was between Steelton and Swatara Township or how he and his car got to the 7-Eleven.
“Unfortunately, my ex-wife and a political enemy are using this in their latest attempt to smear my name,” Hartwick said in a statement. “People see this for what it is: a sad attempt at character assassination, and I will play no part in it.”