A state senator has apologized after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha took to the floor of the legislature this morning and told his colleagues he takes full responsibility for the actions which led to the DUI.
“But, I also need to apologize to this body for making a decision that was more about me than about the people I am representing in my district and the great state of Nebraska,” McDonnell said during his floor speech.
A Nebraska State Patrol trooper stopped McDonnell, 52, shortly before one o’clock Thursday morning. McDonnell was booked into the Sarpy County Jail on suspicion of first-offense DUI, failure to stay in a traffic lane, and refusal to take a breath-alcohol test. McDonnell posted bond and was released.
McDonnell, a Democrat, represents the 5th Legislative District which includes a part of midtown Omaha as well as South Omaha. He also is president of the Omaha Federation of Labor. He formerly served as Fire Chief of Omaha.
Afterward, McDonnell told reporters he was stopped on his way home from Lincoln. He said he plans to fully cooperate with Sarpy County authorities.
As for amends, McDonnell said he would concentrate on the job at hand, adding every decision he makes must be based on his public service.
“You cannot make decisions that are selfish decisions,” McDonnell said. “It’s got to be always about focused on your job and the people of the state of Nebraska.”
McDonnell plans to stay on as a state senator. As a state senator, McDonnell will not have to face court proceedings until after the legislation session ends in mid-April.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]
AUDIO: Sen. Mike McDonnell apologizes during floor speech. [1:51]