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November 14, 2009

State Auditor Charged with DUI

State Auditor Tom Salmon is facing a charge of driving under the influence after a routine traffic stop in Montpelier Friday night.

According to a police summary of the incident, Trooper Brandon Doll stopped Salmon around 10:30 p.m. Salmon was driving a 2008 Honda Civic and failed to use a turn signal.

"In speaking with Salmon it was determined that he had been drinking, and Salmon admitted to having a few drinks over the course of the evening," Doll noted in his report.

Salmon was taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence and was issued a citation to appear in Vermont District Court in Barre on Dec. 3.

The auditor had taken three employees and their spouses out for dinner to celebrate two promotions and one pay grade increase, Salmon told Seven Days.

"Long dinner, special occasion. On the way home, I failed to put my on my signal during a routine right turn in Montpelier and was stopped," Salmon said. "Asked if I was drinking I said yes, red wine. Was taken in and blew a .086. DUI 1. I didn't protest anything."

Salmon said it had been a long night at the police barracks, capping what he said was a rough week. In part due to the revelations in this week's "Fair Game" about Salmon's past financial struggles.

"I am humbled and embarrassed and angry — angry at myself," said Salmon of the DUI charge.

Salmon called his deputy auditor Joe Juhasz, who lives in Burlington, to pick him up at the barracks. He said he didn't want his wife driving from St. Johnsbury at midnight to pick him up. He spent the night in Montpelier and retrieved his car from the impound lot this morning.

Salmon is expected to reveal the DUI today when he attends the Vermont Republican Party's annual convention and meeting at the Montpelier Elks Club.

Not good. Not good at all. But at least he's not claiming that this is a politically-inspired attack (like Kiss, Leopold and the Progs re: the BT scandal) or claiming that a mental condition makes him not responsible for his own behavior. But, geez, if he wants to maintain a political career he's going to have to lay off the sauce.

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