Laguna Beach City Manager Shohreh Dupuis has thanked the officer who pulled her over and ticketed her for driving with a cell phone in hand last fall. Dupuis acknowledged that “driving is a serious issue, and I have been much more conscious of it.”
The city released footage of the encounter last week. In the video, the officer asks Dupuis if she was using her phone to make a call, at which point she manages a serious name drop.
“I was talking to Jeff Calvert, sorry,” she says, referring to the city’s Chief of Police.
Unphased, the officer reminds Dupuis that using a cell phone while driving is illegal. He issued her a $160 ticket.
For what it's worth, it has been confirmed that Dupuis was on a call with Chief Calvert at that time.
“I want to make it clear that I am not making light of this traffic ticket and I want to commend the officer who pulled me over and observed my phone in my hand,” Dupuis said in a statement following the video’s release. “Although I was using it on speaker to make a voice call, I was holding it, admitted I was using it while driving and the citation I received was warranted. He did the right thing by stopping me and issuing me a citation.”
Mayor Bob Whalen expressed support for Dupuis and said the city has been fully transparent about the incident.
“The City of Laguna Beach has been responsive to questions regarding the traffic stop involving City Manager Shohreh Dupuis,” stated Whalen. “Video footage and records show that this was a simple traffic citation and not consequential to City operations. Our City Manager works hard for us every day and is doing an outstanding job. She has my full support to continue as our City Manager and with the great work that she is doing for the City.”