Reporting Todd Quinones
ALBURTIS, Pa. (CBS) - When 19-year-old Kyle Bower was sworn in as an Alburtis councilman in January there were some doubts.
“Some people had warned me not to do it, to have him go to a judge, but I said, ‘No, I’m the mayor, I will take responsibility and swear him in,’” Alburtis Mayor Robert Mader said.
Besides the occasional train passing by, Alburtis is a quiet small town built around an iron ore blast furnace in the late 1800’s.
The election of a teenager to council was fraught with promise and peril.
“Some people thought, ‘Oh he’s young,’ but everybody should have a chance. Everybody,” Alburtis resident Faith Andrews said.
According Mayor Mader, Bower was charged on Wednesday for allegedly driving through a soybean field after he stole some campaign signs from a nearby yard.
Mader says there was about $600 worth of damage to the crop and Bower abandoned his car in the middle of the field.
“They found open alcohol containers in the car, and with his previous record he was already on probation for several other acts he had done in the past,” Mader said.
The mayor says the 19-year-old has a history of misdemeanor crimes involving alcohol.
Efforts to track down Dower weren’t successful.
He is now reportedly being charged with agricultural crop destruction, which is a felony, as well as other lesser charges.
At this point it’s not clear if his run-in with the soybean field will mean he will resign from council and end a short albeit colorful political career.