A Douglas County judge Friday sentenced a University of Chicago professor to serve two days in jail plus a month on house arrest for drunken driving in April in Lawrence with his 4-year-old daughter in the car.
“I accept full responsibility for the occurrence, and I am extremely sorry and regretful for all sorts of reasons,” said Cornell H. Fleischer,60, who also called it the “biggest mistake that I’ve ever made in my life.”
Fleischer was arrested April 1 after Lawrence police officers were called to the parking lot of 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clnton Parkway, to investigate a drunken driver, and they found the girl in the car with him. Fleischer pleaded guilty in August to a first offense DUI, and as part of a plea agreement prosecutors agreed to drop a child endangerment charge as long as he agreed to serve 30 days on house arrest, assistant district attorney Mark Simpson said.
Defense attorney John Kerns said while on house arrest Fleischer will be permitted only to leave home for his job as a history professor in Chicago and to attend court hearings as part of a pending child custody case.
“He did admit to guilt through the plea and took full responsibility for his actions,” Kerns said.
District Judge Peggy Kittel prohibited Fleischer from drinking alcohol during his 11-month probation term and required him to follow recommendations from an alcohol evaluation. Kittel also fined him $500 and ordered him to pay $370 in court costs and fees. If he fails to fulfill his probation sentence, Kittel could order him to serve six months in jail.