Mankato Mayor John Brady was driving with an open bottle of vodka and tested at three times more than the legal driving limit for alcohol, according to charges filed against him.
Brady, 61, was charged with fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and having an open container of alcohol. He was arrested Saturday by Golden Valley police on Interstate 394. Police said Brady's speech was so slurred that an arresting officer thought he was speaking a foreign language.
"We consider these kinds of charges very serious and very concerning," Golden Valley City Attorney Francis Rondoni said.
Brady, who has been mayor for four years and is running for reelection this fall, is scheduled for a first court appearance on Oct. 13. Each charge has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine or both.
According to a complaint filed Tuesday, police received a call about a hit-and-run suspect in Golden Valley at about 1 p.m. Saturday. After locating Brady's car, an officer observed him crossing over and drifting between lanes. The officer said Brady didn't stop his vehicle when police emergency lights were on and then struck a vehicle while exiting I-394 to Hopkins Crossroad.
Before almost hitting another vehicle, Brady stopped, the complaint said. When he exited the vehicle, he used his door to brace himself. He told the officer that he had been drinking. Police asked him to perform field sobriety tests and he "was unable to complete them successfully,'' the complaint said.
When the officer asked Brady where he was from, the officer couldn't understand Brady "as his speech was so impaired and mumbled that it appeared he was speaking a foreign language," the complaint said.
Officers also found a small opened bottle of Smirnoff vodka in the driver's door of the car, the complaint said.
A preliminary breath test showed Brady had an alcohol concentration of 0.24, the complaint said. Results of a urine test are pending. If the result is above 0.20, the driving-while-intoxicated charge will be upgraded to a gross misdemeanor, Rondoni said.
Brady's attorney, Calvin Johnson, said Tuesday in a statement that the mayor "apologizes for the inconvenience that this may cause his professional responsibilities" and that "he requests your patience."
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141