Ditka’s son briefly jailed after violating terms of bond - FOX 35 News Orlando

Ditka’s son briefly jailed after violating terms of bond

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

After two court hearings Tuesday, the son of former Bears coach Mike Ditka was released from Lake County Jail on an increased bond after failing to provide a judge with a current prescription for painkillers.

Mark Ditka of Deerfield was remanded placed in the custody of the Lake County Sheriff's custody after his first court hearing, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.

Ditka, 49, was arrested for DUI in 2011. That case was pending when he was charged with a second DUI and possession of a controlled substance in October. Deerfield police said they found a bottle of dihydrocodeine, an opioid analgesic, in his vehicle Oct. 7.

He was freed on $2,500 bail, but then tested positive for narcotics at a random drug test on Nov. 2, according to Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ben Dillon.

Ditka appeared before Judge Brian Hughes first. His attorney, Robert Ritacca presented Hughes with a letter from Lake Shore Dental confirming that Ditka's dentist had prescribed him Vicodin on Nov. 19, 2011, and Dec. 2, 2010.

Ditka had appeared before Hughes last Friday for arraignment on felony charges. That was when his positive test for the controlled substance during a standard pre-trial screening was disclosed.

At that time, Ditka could not immediately provide a prescription for the narcotic found in his system, with Hughes giving him until Tuesday to come up one.

When all he could produce was the letter from his dentist and no prescription from 2012, Hughes increased Ditka's bond to $50,000.

"My concern is he tested positive. Pre-trial tried numerous times to get him to verify his prescription and he didn't," Hughes said.

Ritacca said his client had already posted $2,500 and could not afford to post such a high bond. After Hughes refused to lower the bond, Ritacca asked that the case get assigned to a new judge. Circuit Judge John Phillips was randomly selected.

Ditka was then taken into custody and all parties appeared before Phillips for the second hearing.

Ditka pleaded not guilty to aggravated DUI and unlawful possession of a controlled substance charges before Phillips. He could face one to three years in prison or a period of probation for those charges, Phillips said.

Ritacca asked Phillips to revisit the bond issue.

"He has no criminal history. He's reputable in his standing in his community. He posted $2,500," Ritacca said.

His client works from 11 a.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. as the manager for a restaurant in Chicago. Ditka has a residence in Chicago and Deerfield.

Dillon asked that the bond amount remain at $50,000, but Phillips reduced Ditka's bond to $30,000.

Except for work and court hearings, Ditka is to abide by a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He is not allowed to use alcohol or drugs.

"No drugs whatsoever ... one-year-old Vicodin is not permitted. You better not have any possession of medication unless it's a current prescription," Phillips warned. By current, he meant November of this year, he clarified.

Ditka bonded out on his increased bond amount about two hours after it was lowered to $30,000.

He is due back in court Dec. 4.

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