Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ex-Star columnist busted for DUI and driving without a tire

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 1:16 PM

click to enlarge Rhonda Chriss Lokeman
  • Rhonda Chriss Lokeman

Earlier this morning, McClatchy Watch broke the news about Rhonda Chriss Lokeman's arrest for allegedly driving drunk in January.

In the case McClatchy Watch cites, Lokeman is the plaintiff. The defendant is the Director of Revenue for the state of Missouri. The civil case was filed on January 7, 2009. Lokeman is fighting the revocation of her license after refusing to take a breathalyzer test.

On January 29, the

judge issued an order staying the revocation of Lokeman's driver's

license.

Lokeman is represented by Kevin E.J. Regan.

I called Regan this morning, but the woman answering the phone at his

law firm told me he was in court. I left my number and will

update the blog if I hear from him.

Not than anyone noticed, but Lokeman hasn't written a column since December 27, 2008.
The column, titled "List of wishes for those who made headlines in 2008," ran in the Kansas City Star on December 27, 2008. Apparently, Lokeman's pen ran out of ink after that column.

I called Loekman's husband and Star publisher Mark Zieman to find out why the Star didn't report on Lokeman's DUI -- and if there'd be any consequences for Lokeman.


The woman answering the phone asked me if I was calling about "a personal matter."

No, I said. I'm calling about a personnel matter.

The woman told me that Lokeman doesn't work for the Star anymore. The Star doesn't even carry her syndicated column.

"I don't know a definitive date, but she's no longer a columnist here at the Star," the woman said. "She hasn't been since the first of the year. I don't believe she has a syndicated column anymore."

The woman directed me to Trudy Hurley, administrative assistant to the editorial page.

"She's not writing it anymore," Hurley told me.

I asked Hurley if Lokeman were to write a column, if the Star would run it.

"Possibly, that would be a decision for the editors to make," Hurley said. "But we did not cancel it. She stopped writing it."

The Star just reported the details of Lokeman's arrest and apparent retirement:

A

Kansas City police officer stopped Rhonda C. Lokeman, 50, about 10:15

p.m. Jan. 1 near 30th Street and Gillham Road because she was driving

without headlights and on a front rim that was missing its tire,

according to a police report.

Lokeman reportedly refused to

perform field sobriety tests and take a breathalyzer test. She told

police she had consumed one glass of wine in her art studio that

afternoon, the report said.

Police cited her for driving under

the influence, careless driving and driving without headlights turned

on. Her court date was set for March 23.

Wait. She was missing a tire?

The Star, which couldn't reach Lokeman for comment, also noted that Lokeman retired on December 28.

Despite her retirement, Lokeman is still listed and featured as an opinion columnist on the Star's Web site.

Lokeman will appear in court in her civil case on April 9.

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