Cairo city councilman Bobby Whitaker charged with DUI

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Cairo, Ill., city councilman was arrested and charged with driving under the influence Friday morning.

Bobby Whitaker was pulled over around 2 a.m. on Highway 51 outside Mounds, Ill., for crossing the center line more than once, according to information released by Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern.

He was charged with DUI for failing a sobriety test. Whitaker's blood-alcohol content level was not available.

Additional charges may be filed by the Pulaski County State's Attorney's office relating to two guns that were found inside Whitaker's car.

According to the sheriff, Whitaker told arresting officers that he was the Cairo police commissioner.

Cairo Mayor Paul Farris said Whitaker was an "advisory in person" for the Cairo Police Department. In order to carry a weapon as a police officer would, Farris said Whitaker must have proper accreditation.

In January, Farris sent a letter to Whitaker demanding the councilman relinquish a city-owned gun assigned to him as part of his oversight duties for the police department.

In the letter Farris claimed Whitaker carries the weapon concealed and does not have the proper firearms training certification to do so.

But Whitaker refused to hand the weapon over, stating at the time that he had the necessary training to carry the gun and could prove it with a certificate.

The mayor declined to comment on Whitaker's DUI charge Friday night.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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