Huntington Beach Planning Commissioner Tim Ryan's court hearing on charges of drunk driving has been continued to July, pending further investigation by his attorney.
Ryan, a City Council candidate, was arrested Jan. 28 by Huntington Beach police and booked on two charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and having a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit, according to court records.
The Orange County district attorney's criminal complaint states that Ryan was driving with a 0.20 BAC level — more than two times the legal limit.
He was released on $10,000 bail. Ryan, a lawyer, pleaded not guilty to both charges May 2, court records show.
Huntington Beach police Capt. Russ Reinhart confirmed Ryan's arrest.
Ryan, who is hoping to land a seat on the council in November and ranks among the top fundraisers for the City Council race, also confirmed his arrest but deferred all questions to his attorney, Todd Landgren.
Landgren appeared on his behalf in court Wednesday and said he's fighting the charges.
The pretrial was continued so that Landgren can review all evidence and ensure that "due process is followed," he said.
Councilman Joe Carchio, who appointed Ryan to the Planning Commission and supports his council bid, said the DUI charges don't mean he's not fit to serve in office.
Carchio referenced Councilman Matthew Harper's and City Attorney Jennifer McGrath's DUIs to reinforce his point. He said one mistake is different from having a drinking problem.
"Just because someone made a mistake doesn't mean you're not capable of, you know, holding a job and holding an elected position," he said. "They make a mistake and it was unfortunate."
HB Neighbors President David Rice said Ryan's arrest is another example of the problem the city has with drunk driving.
"I think it just helps to illustrate that we have a DUI problem," he said. "It's disproportionate to the rest of the state."
Ryan's next hearing is scheduled for July 18 at the West Justice Center in Westminster, according to his attorney.