Merlin's Randy Michaels walks on DUI charge

Randy Michaels is a free man.

Three months after he was arrested in Middletown, Ohio, and charged with driving under the influence, the controversial radio executive and former Tribune Co. CEO pleaded guilty Friday only to a minor offense involving driving in a construction zone.

The more serious charge of operating a vehicle impaired was dismissed, according to a report by ABC affiliate WCPO-TV, after Michaels’ attorney argued that officers had not written the correct code on his client's citation “so he was never officially charged with OVI.”

Middletown Municipal Court records list the case status as "finished." Michaels was fined $30 and court costs.

Michaels, 59, was arrested in the wee hours of October 14, 2011, after police reportedly found his car stuck in the mud in a construction zone and smelled alcohol on his breath. He refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Forced to resign from Tribune Co. amid allegations that his personal behavior and the “frat house mentality” he fostered made him unfit to lead the Chicago-based company, Michaels reemerged last year as CEO of Merlin Media, a privately held radio investment group. In Chicago, Merlin Media owns all-news WIQI-FM (101.1) and classic rock WLUP-FM (97.9).

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)