Nebraska State Senator Mike McDonnell has issued a public apology after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Shortly before 1:00 a.m. on February 8, 2018, a Nebraska State Patrol trooper pulled over Nebraska State Senator Mike McDonnell. McDonnell had been spotted by the trooper allegedly having difficulty staying in his lane.
After twice refusing to do a breath test, McDonnell was arrested on suspicion of first-offense DUI, failing to stay in a traffic lane, and two refusals to submit to a breath-alcohol test.
After paying 10% of his bail, McDonnell was released. His first court date will be on March 21.
Mike McDonnell’s Response
Mike McDonnell faced his peers not long after his arrest on the floor of Nebraska’s Legislature. McDonnell addressed the legislature openly and spoke about how he had made a mistake. McDonnell added that the state trooper who pulled him over was nice and professional.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and the decisions I make, but I also need to apologize to this body for making a decision that was more about me than about the people I’m representing in my district and the great state of Nebraska,” he said.
“I apologize to my wife and son, the people of my district, and the members of the legislature which I’m honored and proud to serve in.”
Resignation Not in the Cards
Politicians in other levels of government who have committed similar mistakes have been pressured to resign. But in Nebraska, McDonnell’s colleagues seem to be in more of a forgiving mood.
McDonnell said he has no plans to resign, promising the incident will “definitely” be a one-time occurrence.
Nebraska State Senators Scott Lautenbaugh, Kermit Brashear, and Danielle Conrad were all previously arrested and convicted of various DUI-related charges. In Conrad’s case, she ran into a snowplow. All remained in office.
McDonnell has been a state senator since 2016. Before that, he served as fire chief for the Omaha Fire Department.