La Mesa Mayor Denies Receiving Special Treatment

An embarrassing incident involving La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid has some people questioning whether the La Mesa Police Department mishandled the situation and gave the mayor special treatment.

"Something happened Wednesday night I think we need to talk about," 10News Digital Correspondent Rett Lawrence said to Madrid.

Madrid tied one on at a La Mesa bar, just four miles from his home.

"I had one too many," said Madrid.

Lawrence asked, "Were you driving?"

Madrid replied, "Not at all."

On his way home from the Chico Club, he told the driver of his car to pull over.

"I got out of the car because I did not want to implode in my own car," said Madrid.

Madrid got sick and noisy, prompting someone to call 911.

The caller said there was one person passed out in a yard and the driver passed out at the wheel.

An officer with La Mesa police evaluated the situation and drove the mayor and his driver to the mayor's house a block away.

No citations or arrests were made, even though the officer knew the person driving was too intoxicated to be behind the wheel.

When asked if a sobriety test was done on the driver of the vehicle, La Mesa police Chief Alan Lanning said, "No, not to my knowledge. I didn't see any record of that."

Lanning said the officer couldn't prove the city staffer was driving Madrid's vehicle.

But the mayor knew who drove.

"I was not driving. I was a passenger, somebody was driving me home and the car was stationary," said Madrid.

Attorney Dan Bacal said, "There is something fishy going on here because anyone who's got a DUI in that situation is saying, 'Man, I got busted for way less than that.'"

Bacal has defended hundreds of DUI cases over the past 28 years. He said it seemed that there was special treatment for the mayor's driver.

"That has DUI written all over it," said Bacal.

Lawrence asked Madrid, "So, you don't think you got special treatment?"

Madrid responded, "I really don't."

Lanning said, "Did the mayor get special treatment? No. And the officers have discretion in their powers to make decisions about whether or not they're going to make an arrest in any particular circumstance."

In this circumstance, nobody was injured from drinking and driving.

Lanning said he stands by his officer's decision and considers the case closed.

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