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James Costello Jr., the volunteer director of campaign operations for Bert D. Dunn, a Democratic candidate for Erie County sheriff, was charged last week with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a property-damage accident.

Costello, 46, of Lancaster Avenue, is accused of fleeing from Gates Circle after crashing into two traffic signs, five trees and a wall at the circle’s fountain at about 3:10 a.m. Thursday with his 2003 blue BMW, according to Northwest District police, who impounded the vehicle.

Costello suffered a minor head injury and was treated in Erie County Medical Center, authorities said.

Dunn said that Costello is welcome to continue in his role as a campaign volunteer and that it will be up to Costello to make the decision.

“Jim is a good man. He is standing up and going to face the consequences, and I believe he will learn from this experience,” Dunn said. “Jim is a family man and a good person. It is what it is. It is public record what happened, and the courts will decide.”

Costello, who could not be reached to comment, has been released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in City Court in late September.

Damage from the crash was estimated at $350. Costello was also charged with failure to keep right by arresting Officers Marquest Castillo and Karin Franco.

email: lmichel@buffnews.com