Andy Klein, vice mayor of San Carlos, California, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving earlier this week, barely two days after the mayor died of a heart attack.
On Thursday morning, Klein, who had taken over the mayoral duties of Omar Ahmad, who died from a heart attack, had pulled over his car on the shoulder of Edgewood Road to answer a phone call. At that time, a San Mateo County sheriff's deputy spotted the parked car and thought that Klein was in trouble.
The deputy walked over to the parked car to see whether he could be of any help. However, during the conversation with Klein that followed, the deputy smelled alcohol in Klein's breathe.
A breathalyzer examination revealed that Klein’s blood-alcohol level was 0.08, a level at which a person is regarded as drunk.
The deputy then called for California Highway Patrol offers, who hauled Klein to First Chance drop-off center in San Carlos. At the center, Klein was given an opportunity to sober up before he was cited and released.
Klein later said in a statement that he was deeply saddened by the embarrassment that this may cause my family, friends and the city of San Carlos.
I understand as a political figure that we must hold ourselves to a higher standard, and if I failed to live up to that standard I am truly sorry, he said.
Klein, who is interested in being appointed as an interim mayor, said he believes he is still fit to be mayor.
However, Councilman Matt Grocott feels the incident has cast concerns on Klein's ability to lead. When you put yourself in the public trust, you have to prove yourself, Grocott said. If you're making policy decisions for the community, you also have to show that you make good policy decisions for yourself.
Klein said he will do whatever my colleagues decide is best.
The City Council will discuss the matter on May 23.