/Powerful seats of top legislative leaders in question following separate DUI arrests

Powerful seats of top legislative leaders in question following separate DUI arrests

Senate President Pro Tempore Terry Burton (R-Newton) was arrested Wednesday night for driving under the influence in Starkville This was his third DUI arrest within four years. Greg Snowden, R-Meridian was the House Speaker Pro Tempore and pleaded not guilty to refusing to take a breathalyzer after he was suspected of driving under the influences in September. In the absence of the presiding officers, the Senate and House pro-tems are considered powerful and enviable positions in the Legislature. These posts attract additional campaign contributions and lobbying efforts by interest groups. Both pro tems also supervise the operation of their respective chambers. Burton stated in a Thursday release that he knows firsthand what it’s like to make mistakes and to face the consequences. “I admire and appreciate law enforcement for always being cautious. This is a misinterpretation.” Burton answered that he did not plan to resign as pro-tem. There are no plans to do so.” It was unclear how the Senate leadership would respond to Burton’s arrest on Thursday afternoon. Lt. Gov. Lt. Gov. The House Ethics Committee and other House bodies could decide Snowden’s fate as House pro-tem. The issue was referred to the House Ethics Committee by Philip Gunn (R-Clinton), House Speaker earlier this month. Gunn stated that he did not have the authority to take any action against Snowden, even though he could. Snowden was elected by the voters of Lauderdale County to the District83 House seat and is pro tem by his colleagues in Congress. Gunn stated that referring the matter to the Ethics Committee was the best course of action. Gunn said that this is what he believed was appropriate. However, he added that the Ethics Committee’s capabilities would be limited. Any recommendation from the committee would have to be enacted by the whole House. Burton, 62 years old, has served in the Senate as a representative of parts of Scott, Lauderdale and Newton counties. A Newton County justice court judge found him not guilty in 2016 DUI arrest. Burton claimed that he had taken cough syrup and breath spray to treat a scratchy throat. This was a false positive. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to a DUI offense. Snowden, 64, is a member of the House since 2000. Although he claimed he was texting at the time he crashed in Meridian in September, he refused to submit to a breathalyzer. This led to him being charged with driving under the influence as per state law. He chose to plead not guilty rather than fighting the charge. He did not plead guilty to driving under the influences and was not sentenced after being placed into a non-adjudicated program. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.