By Oralandar Brand-Williams, Originally published by The Detroit News, June 22, 2016
Romulus, MI — An American Airlines co-pilot accused of being drunk before he was scheduled to fly a plane out of Detroit Metropolitan airport in March was arraigned Wednesday.
Capt. John Maguire, 50, was arrested March 26 on a suspicion of being drunk at Metro Airport.
He was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol. A resident of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Maguire was removed from the Detroit-to-Philadelphia flight before takeoff. Authorities say he had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit for operating an aircraft.
Maguire appeared at the 34th District Court in a brief hearing Wednesday. A not-guilty plea was entered on Maguire’s behalf for the misdemeanor offense.
Romulus District Court Judge David Parrott set a $10,000 personal bond for Maguire. The judge also set a mandatory alcohol and drug testing for Maguire’s bond.
Maguire’s defense attorney, Frank Manley, told Parrott his client was receiving treatment. Manley did not specify if the treatment was for alcohol dependency.
Maguire declined comment on the matter following the brief court hearing, instead referring questions to Manley who called Maguire an “outstanding pilot” with one of the best performance records in the commercial airlines industry. He did not say if the pilot had any prior incidents.
“Clearly (he) wouldn’t be flying a major airlines if he had a record,” Manley said.
Citing HIPAA laws, Manley could not say if his client is receiving treatment for alcohol dependency but is doing well and is making steps, which includes treatment for “health issues” to get back to work.
“The passengers deserve to know that the captain is healthy for safety reasons and I have complete confidence in Capt. Maguire,” Manley said Wednesday. “We want to make sure the public knows there is no problem with Capt. Maguire. It’s important that people understand that the pilot is healthy for their well-being and their piece of mind.”
A pretrial for Maguire is set for 9 a.m. July 15 before Parrott.
Manley said the allegation against the veteran pilot is out of character.
“Capt. Maguire has established an outstanding and extensive record as a commercial pilot,” Manley said. “He’s been honored on many, many occasions. “Clearly he’s not happy …. to be here on this type of allegation.”
If found guilty, Maguire could face 90 days in jail, up to $500 in fines and be forced to complete 45 days of community service.
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