Woman In La Mesa Mayor Flap Faces DUI Charge

A drunken driving charge was filed Thursday against a woman who was found slumped over in the driver's seat of an SUV owned by La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, who was discovered lying on a sidewalk nearby and escorted home by officers.

Trisha Kristine Turner, a finance department employee for the city of La Mesa, faces up to six months in jail if convicted.

She is scheduled to be arraigned April 10 in El Cajon, but does not have to personally appear in court because the charge is a misdemeanor.

Madrid was found lying on a sidewalk near his sports utility vehicle about a block from his home around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 20. Turner, 34, was keeled over in the driver's seat with the engine still running, police said.

Police, who gave both a ride home, did not see either of them driving intoxicated because they pulled up to a stopped vehicle.

Madrid has not been charged with a crime, said spokesman Steve Walker of the district attorney's office.

The mayor has apologized for his actions, saying he doesn't have a drinking problem.

10News reported that Madrid had drank in excess that night to mark the 19-year anniversary of his son's death from cancer.

La Mesa Police Chief Alan Lanning has said that his officers did not know who Madrid was until they checked his identification. He said officers would have done the same thing for anyone else in La Mesa in that situation.

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