Starbucks card as bribe? Not this time

By From page A3 | August 02, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A thank you card mailed to a Vacaville police officer that included a $20 Starbucks gift card resulted in prosecutors filing a felony bribery charge against a man the officer had recently ticketed for driving under the influence.

Matthew R. Weber, 29, was pulled over on New Year’s Eve. He admitted Friday to driving under the influence of pain medications he was taking for a recent wrist injury.

During the traffic stop, Weber had jokingly asked the officer something akin to, “How many Starbucks cards would it take for this to go away?” The officer reported later that he had heard similar remarks from motorists in the past and took them in jest.

What made Weber’s jest different was the greeting card and gift the officer received at his office in January.

When Weber showed up for his first court appearance in May to be arraigned for the misdemeanor DUI charge, he and his defense attorney, Denis Honeychurch, were taken aback by the news that Weber also faced a felony bribery charge.

Honeychurch managed to get the felony charge dismissed and Weber pleaded no contest to the DUI. Weber also pleaded no contest to an assault charge arising from a drunken brawl that led to his wrist injury. He received a six-month jail sentence for the fight.

Nothing in court records for the case reveals whether Weber believed a $20 gift card could somehow be enough to tip the officer’s ethical and legal boundaries.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • BSAugust 02, 2014 - 9:10 am

    Hmm. The DA's office really thought he was trying to bribe the officer with a $20 gift card, that was delivered AFTER his arrest, TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. What a waste of tax payers money. You suck duBain!!! The question really is, what does it usually take to bribe one of Vacaville finest??

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  • William CooperAugust 02, 2014 - 4:59 pm

    The Starbucks Card has a much better value at the Solano Registrars Office. It even has the chief law enforcement agency blazing the trail. Just look at what 10 coffee cards got the sheriff. The registrar opened special for the sheriff after hours. He got access to files that would normally be kept under lock and key. But most of all the sheriff found a new friend. All over a few Starbucks Cards. Now run out there and help get what you need with your local Starbucks Gift Card.

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