Murrieta Mayor Resigns After DUI Arrest, May Still Seek Re-Election
Murrieta Mayor Alan Long has announced his resignation from the city council following a suspected drunk driving incident left four teenagers injured.
The incident occurred Thursday night at Jefferson and Lily Avenues in Murrieta. Officers were called to the scene after Long’s truck rear-ended a passenger vehicle carrying four Murrieta Valley High School students, ages 14 to 17. Long was arrested and booked on suspicion of DUI after failing a series of field sobriety tests. However, Preliminary Alcohol Screening tests showed Long with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .07, just below the legal limit of .08.
Long has denied allegations that he was driving drunk and believes he will be vindicated in the end. Police have said they are awaiting blood tests to confirm his blood alcohol content.
Though Long is resigning for the current term, he will consider seeking re-election to the city council next month. The move is designed to avoid any distraction or conflict of interest in the interim, Long said.
The four teens, who have all been identified as members of the school’s cheerleading team, suffered moderate to major injuries, according to police. All were treated at local hospitals and, so far, three have been released.
“Mr. Long has never been arrested before and has never been at fault in an accident,” said Long's attorney, Virginia Blumenthal. “It is my firm belief that while there has been an accident, there was no crime committed.” Blumenthal said her client immediately rendered aid to the students and has since offered an apology for the crash.
Mayor Long, a former battalion chief for Anaheim Fire & Rescue, was elected to the council in 2010. He gained national attention earlier this year as an outspoken critic of the federal government’s plan to process hundreds of undocumented immigrants through Murrieta’s detention center. Shortly after his criticism, protestors blocked a bus carrying the incoming migrants, forcing them to turn away. The incident transformed the city into flashpoint in the national debate over immigration.
Long was released from custody shortly after arrest, posting $50,000 bail. He has been ordered to appear in court on December 11.
Read more about Mayor Long’s arrest and resignation here.