By Christina Carrega
A decorated educator was disciplined by the NYPD on Friday evening for allegedly driving drunk and disobeying traffic laws after drinking one glass of wine, according to court documents.
Principal Louis Pavone was busted near 24th Street and 24th Avenue in Astoria for allegedly driving while intoxicated, driving while impaired and operating a motor vehicle above the state’s legal limit of .08 percent.
Pavone, 59, was driving on the wrong side of the street in a 2015 black Lexus allegedly in an attempt to pass a car that was in front of him.
When police pulled over the veteran educator, Pavone had bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech, a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath and was unsteady on his feet when he exited the car, according to the criminal complaint.
Pavone was arrested and a breathalyzer was administered at the precinct that read .098 percent, according to the criminal complaint.
“I was operating the vehicle, I had one glass of red wine,” Pavone allegedly told the police at the 112th Precinct, according to court documents.
Pavone has been the principal of P.S./I.S. 78Q a Pre-K to eighth grade school on Center Boulevard in Long Island City since 2006. The allegedly intoxicated school leader is expected to earn over $160,000 by the end of the year, according to public records.
Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita released Pavone on his own recognizance and ordered him back to court on Jan. 29.
It’s unclear if Pavone will be in attendance at school this week.
"The well-being of our school communities is our top priority and we take this allegation seriously. We are reviewing the matter, and will take any necessary follow up action,” said Doug Cohen, a spokesman for the Department of Education.
In 2012, Pavone was named a Cahn Fellow, a program for well-received principals through Teachers College at Columbia University and “gets high marks from teachers,” according to InsideSchools.org.
Pavone received the After School Hero Award from the Cheering for Children Foundation for his work in after-school programs. He was honored by the United Federation of Teachers, by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and in 2015 was presented with a proclamation from Jimmy Van Bramer, then the Majority Leader of the City Council, according to The New York Academy of Public Education website.