MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — Murrieta Mayor Alan Long, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after a crash that injured four teenagers, resigned Monday.
Long, 44, was taken into custody Thursday night in a DUI crash resulting in bodily injury.
He posted a $50,000 bond the next day and was released from the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
In a statement, Long said staying on as mayor “would only distract from the very important discussions we must all have on the future of our city, which would not be fair to any of us.”
However, Long did not rule out seeking re-election once his current term expires.
“I want to make it very clear that while I am resigning my positions as Mayor and as a member of the City Council, I am not withdrawing from the current election,” he said. “Once the legal process is complete, I feel I will be exonerated, and therefore see no reason why I should not seek re-election.”
Long was arrested after taking breathalyzer and blood tests at the scene. Although he blew a .07, which is under the legal limit of .08, officers determined he was impaired.
According to Murrieta’s public-information officer, if a person has any amount of alcohol in his system and seems impaired, he can be taken into custody.
The juveniles, all cheerleaders, sustained moderate to major injuries and were taken to hospitals for treatment. All were expected to survive.
Karen Parris, spokeswoman for Murrieta’s school district, told KCAL9’s Tom Wait that the victims, including sisters Chloe and Camille Rogers, were coming from a pep rally at the time of the accident.
“I think it’s a tragedy for him, for his family and the community,” said Parris.
The mayor also works as a fire battalion chief in Orange County. According to Anaheim Fire and Rescue officials, he will not be put on leave during the investigation.
Wait tried to reach Long for comment but was unable to reach him by phone or at his home.
Stacey Butler picked up the story Friday evening.
She said the Murrieta Valley home team took a beating, and some wondered if the students had their injured cheerleaders on their minds.
She spoke to members of the cheer squad who were missing four of their own — Melissa Reynolds with a broken neck.
“It’s hard on our whole school,” said cheerleader Lexi Tudor.”We weren’t as spirited. Everyone was sad.”
“To hear that someone we look up to, like the mayor, did something like that is really hard to accept,” said Tudor.
Butler spoke with the mayor’s lawyer who said he stayed at the scene, helped all the victims and has spoken to all their parents.
The lawyer told Butler the mayor apologized and expressed deep concern for each of their safety.
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