Attorney and former WLW-AM weekend talk show host Lisa Wells has pleaded guilty to four felony counts of drug possession to enter an "in lieu of conviction" treatment program in Miami County Common Pleas Court in Troy, Ohio.
The West Chester Township resident was stopped for "driving recklessly" on Interstate 75 near Piqua, north of Dayton, on Jan. 25, 2016.
The Ohio State Patrol officer reported seeing "several pills" on the front seat after the stop, and finding assorted pills in her purse. Some of the pills "weren't prescribed to her," an Ohio State Patrol officer told me last year.
Wells, 38, also pleaded guilty Monday before Miami County Judge Jeannine Pratt to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while under the influence.
Wells was indicted last year on four felony counts of possession of drugs identified as amphetamines and Oxycodone and pleaded not guilty. In September, Judge Pratt rejected her request to enter the in lieu of conviction diversionary program for first-time offenders. Pratt said in September that Wells had continued to use opioids in violation of her bail conditions, and that notes on her treatment showed a failure to make progress, attend all counseling and participate as required in groups.
The original indictment was withdrawn Nov. 29, and a new indictment issued Dec. 6 last year in Miami County.
In court Monday, Wells told the judge she was "more than willing to do" what the court ordered, the Dayton Daily News reported. Pratt told Wells that she "was not going to get any favors because you are a lawyer," according to the story. Wells reportedly told the judge, "I appreciate the opportunity."
Wells' five guilty pleas will be held in abeyance while she participates in the "rather intensive program dealing with drug issues," a Miami County Common Pleas Court official said Wednesday. The court-ordered program takes about a year to complete, the official said.
When a person successfully completes the in lieu of conviction program, "the charges are essentially dismissed. The person was not found guilty, and there's not an acquittal. It's as if the charges had not been filed," the court official explained.
If Wells violates terms of the court-ordered treatment, Pratt said she could face a 12-month prison sentence on each drug charge, the court official confirmed.
Conditions of the program include abstaining from using drugs not prescribed and alcohol; attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings; performing 40 hours community service; undergoing drug, alcohol and mental health assessments; and adhering to a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Wells, who won an on-air contest to host a WLW-AM show, was last heard on the station the weekend of Jan. 23-24 last year. Attorney Mike Allen took over her 9-11 a.m. Saturday show on Jan. 30 last year, telling me he "was told that it was mine until further notice."
WLW-AM program director Scott Reinhart on Feb. 17 last year confirmed that Wells had "been off the air on personal leave since January… Obviously, we take any type of allegation against an employee seriously. We will be monitoring the situation, but cannot share any further details on employee personal matters for privacy reasons. We will have more information pending final outcome of the charges."