Mississippi lawmaker apologizes after his latest DUI arrest


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A leadership showdown is developing in the Mississippi Senate after its second-ranking official was arrested this week for the third time on suspicion of drunken driving.

Republican Terry Burton, the Senate president pro tempore, issued a statement Friday apologizing for causing “embarrassment” to friends, family and colleagues, including Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. Burton said he would consider professional counseling.

But Reeves is saying Burton should resign as pro tem.

“The lieutenant governor has made it clear to Sen. Burton that he believes he should relinquish his leadership post,” Reeves’ spokeswoman Laura Hipp said.

The lieutenant governor cannot remove the pro tem, who is elected by the 52 state senators. If Burton does not step aside, legislative rules are not clear on a procedure senators might use to remove him once the legislative session begins in January.

GOP Senator Gets Big Win After Months-Long Stand-Off with Schumer

Reeves and Burton are both Republicans and have been allies. As pro tem, Burton helps advance legislation that the lieutenant governor wants and presides over the Senate when Reeves is unavailable.

Burton, 62, presided over a meeting of the Senate Rules Committee on Friday at the Capitol and said afterward that he didn’t know whether he would remain as pro tem.

He sent a statement to The Associated Press hours later, saying: “I plan to spend the holidays with my family and discuss with them how best to proceed to deal with events of this week, professional counseling for me and how best to show my respect for the institution of the state Senate and the individual senators.”

Burton said the arrest was a “personal shortcoming.” He added that it is “no reflection on my colleagues but is strictly on me.”

“I pray to learn and, with professional help, move forward toward being a better me in every aspect of my life,” Burton said.

Burton was arrested Wednesday in Starkville and charged with DUI second offense and failure to maintain proper lane. He was released on $992 bail.

Burton pleaded guilty after a 2014 DUI arrest in Brandon. He was acquitted after a 2016 DUI arrest in Scott County when a judge ruled that cough syrup and breath spray that Burton said he used right after an accident must have caused a false positive on a breath test.

Burton took office in January 1992 as a Democrat representing a state Senate district in east central Mississippi. He became a Republican in December 2002.


Fox's Brian Kilmeade Calls KJP's Border Comments 'The Most Worthless Series of Sentences I Could Imagine'

Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter: .

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City