City administrative officer Miguel Santana, the point man in the city's efforts to pare down its $212 million deficit, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Thursday night. In a bizarre twist of fate, the man whose office might have to prosecute him, District Attorney Steve Cooley, was the subject of a roast at which Santana apparently imbibed before heading home and getting pulled over en route to his home in Claremont.
“I regret to say that last night, I was involved in a very serious and irresponsible incident,'' Santana wrote in a statement released by the mayor's office. “Driving home from a charity event, I received a DUI. It was a mistake that I deeply regret and I apologize to my family and friends, my staff, the mayor, the City Council and the entire city family for this indiscretion.''
The fundraiser for Cooley was hosted by the American Diabetes Association at the Marriott Hotel at LA Live. Santana, 40, was booked shortly after midnight at the sheriff's Industry station, according to sheriff's department records. KNX 1070 Newsradio reported that he was spotted at City Hall Friday morning about 10 looking “pale.”
Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa issued a statement Friday afternoon: “This morning, I was informed about a very serious and unfortunate situation. The City Administrative Officer, Miguel Santana, received a DUI driving home from a charity event. Mr. Santana is deeply sorry about this incident and recognizes the mistake he made … Mr. Santana has informed me that he is going to immediately seek counseling and refocus on his work and dedication to serving the people of Los Angeles.”
Santana oversees the city's $7 billion budget and has been the source of some ire among city employees for his no-nonsense approach to solving L.A.'s budget woes, including proposals to cut thousands of workers and shut down entire departments.
-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.