Murrieta Mayor Alan Long resigned Monday from his position following an alleged drunk driving accident that resulted in the injury of four teenagers. Long was arrested last Thursday, October 16, when he crashed into a car carrying four teenage students at Murrieta Valley High School. Officers arrived at the scene and arrested Mayor Long, who stayed at the scene of the crash with the victims, for suspicion of causing injury while driving under the influence. Long was released from jail Friday morning, October 17, on $50,000 bail.
In a statement sent by his attorney, Long said “I do not believe under the circumstances it is appropriate for me to remain in these positions. I fear that would only distract from the very important discussions we must all have on the future of our city.” Long is expected to stay on the November ballot for city council positions and he expects to be fully exonerated on all charges. Long, who also serves as Anaheim’s fire battalion chief, showed no signs of alcohol impairment but did have a .07 blood alcohol content in a preliminary breathalyzer test. Officers had him perform several field sobriety tests and determined he was inebriated. An official blood sample was taken when Long was in custody.
Long’s attorney, Virginia Blumenthal, said in a statement her client extends his sincerest apologies to the victims and their families. She also said while she believed there was an accident, she did not believe there was any criminal activity. Long has never been arrested before, and he has not been at fault for any accidents. At the scene of the crash, Long offered assistance to the girls in the vehicle, ranging from 14 to 17 years old. Long also spoke with the girls’ parents when they arrived. No special accommodations were made for Mayor Long, and he appreciated that the police did their jobs as they would for any other citizen.
Long gained national attention in June and July when he led the very public outcry over the US plans to transfer hundreds of children from Central America into Murrieta. These children had illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Texas and the plan was to place them in Murrieta while they were processed. It has been reported that while Long has stepped down from his Mayoral office, he is still the fire battalion chief for the city of Anaheim.
If Long is convicted he will face up to six months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines and penalties, and 30 days to 10 months of license suspension. The judge may also require that he install an ignition interlock device to help prevent him from drinking and driving in the future. If it is not required of him, he might want to consider voluntarily installing one for the safety of himself and others around him.
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