Report: DA drove county vehicle after drinking 8 beers
COLORADO SPRINGS – A Colorado Springs TV station reported that El Paso County District Attorney John Newsome drank eight beers in a little over five hours and then drove home in a county-owned vehicle.KOAA-TV reported Tuesday it videotaped Newsome drinking at two bars between 4:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on a “recent” day. It didn’t give the date.The station said Assistant District Attorney Amy Mullaney drank six beers with Newsome in that period and also drove afterward, but it wasn’t clear if she was in a county vehicle or her own.Both denied driving drunk.Newsome told The Gazette newspaper: “I don’t drink to impairment and drive.” Mullaney said neither she nor Newsome has ever been cited for DUI.Newsome later apologized for his behavior.”I sincerely apologize for ever allowing myself to be placed in that situation where there’s even a perception of wrongdoing,” Newsome said.He also said he needs “to be setting the standard for setting an example.”El Paso County Attorney Bill Louis said county policies on the use of government vehicles don’t apply to elected officials, including Newsome.Newsome, 39, was elected to the $101,000-a-year job in 2004. A Republican, he announced in January he would run for re-election. No other candidates have stepped forward.KOAA said that over the course of the evening when it videotaped Newsome with a hidden camera, he drank about 134 ounces of beer in servings ranging from 10 to 20 ounces.It said Newsome drank three 20-ounce beers and a 10-ounce beer in less than two hours, drove back to his office for about an hour for a meeting, and then drove to a second bar and drank four 16-ounce beers before driving home.Nate Strauch, a spokesman for Attorney General John Suthers, said Suthers’ office could not look into Newsome’s behavior unless requested to do so by Gov. Bill Ritter.Ritter’s spokesman, Evan Dreyer, did not immediately return a call.—Information from: KOAA-TV, http://www.koaa.com
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