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Augusta business owner tried to bribe state trooper

Posted: March 16, 2014 - 12:01am
HAND OUT  Michael Chivington Osbon, 44, of Augusta  Valerie Rowell
Valerie Rowell
HAND OUT Michael Chivington Osbon, 44, of Augusta

The president of an Augusta business was arrested early Sunday and again Wednesday after authorities say he tried to bribe his way out of a driving under the influence charge.

Michael Chivington Obson, 44, of Winter Street, was charged with bribery, driving under the influence, speeding, failure to maintain lane and improper use of a radio or mobile device.

Osbon is the president of Augusta Medical Services and the Julian W. Osbon Partnership.

A Georgia State Patrol trooper heard about a reckless driver in a silver Mercedes headed east on Interstate 20 in McDuffie County traveling over 100 miles per hour, according to a Georgia State Patrol incident report. The trooper waited in the median just west of the Belair Road exit and saw the car pass at 91 miles per hour. The trooper pulled in behind the Mercedes, driven by Osbon, and saw it swerving into other lanes. When the trooper tried to stop the Mercedes, Osbon slowed to 30-35 miles per hour, but continued driving on I-20.

Osbon pulled off on the Belair Road exit and pulled over on the ramp after the trooper again tried to stop him, according to the report. After a few minutes of digging through is wallet, Osbon provided his license and the trooper said he smelled like alcohol. When Osbon was asked to get out of the car, he was unsteady on his feet, according to the report.

Osbon failed several field sobriety tests and registered a .167 on a field blood alcohol sensor, according to the report. He refused an implied consent request for a formal breath test. While searching Osbon’s vehicle, the deputy found his wallet and cellphone. While attempting to turn the phone off, the trooper saw a text message that was sent about 15 minutes before the traffic stop, according to the report.

After he was handcuffed, the trooper said Osbon spent about 30 minutes offering the trooper money to avoid going to jail, according to the report. He offered the trooper amounts from $10,000 to $30,000 in cashiers checks or unmarked bills. According to the report, Osbon’s comments included: “Thinking about how much I’d like to avoid problems. Yeah, 15 is a good number for me. I would never bribe anyone. That would be unacceptable. Especially if it were in cash,” and I don’t want to be in the Jail Report. That’s worth 30 cash.”

The conversation and actions at the scene were captured on video and audio recordings. Osbon was taken to the Columbia County Detention Center, where he was booked on the traffic charges. He was released Sunday afternoon after posting a $4,400 bond, according to jailers. After a Columbia County magistrate issued a felony bribery warrant, Osbon turned himself in to authorities Wednesday. He was released from the jail Wednesday afternoon after posting a $5,100 bond, according to jailers.

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