At the end of May, Shadow Senator Paul Strauss suddenly decided to plead guilty to charges stemming from his drunk driving arrest. It was an interesting move considering that he had long fought the charges, even delaying his proceedings in D.C. Superior Court so he could hunt down an expert witness. The incident had proven to be quite an embarrassment for the city official—-not just for the drinking-and-driving bust itself but for his conduct with the police (he showed off his senate ID; Third District cops were not impressed).
Strauss has not issued much in the way of a public apology for his conduct. There’s been no teary press conference, no photo up with MADD. Other officials have at least gotten with the program and admitted their mistakes when caught over the legal limit (like this guy and this guy). He refused to return calls for comment at the time of his guilty plea. Nor had he offered much in the way of an explanation immediately following his arrest.
City Desk finally caught up with Strauss this afternoon. Strauss could not have been less interested in talking about his DUI guilty plea. Don’t expect any Public Service Announcements from the Shadow Senator any time soon. This is a guy who wishes he could just blackout the whole incident.
When asked about how he felt about his guilty plea and his case being closed, Strauss replied: “We’re putting it behind me and moving on.”
City Desk: Was there any lesson learned?
Strauss: “That’s really all….[rambling to the effect of a no comment].”
City Desk: What happened with the Expert Witness?
Strauss: “We just decided to put this behind me and move on. Thank you for your interest.”
The Shadow Senator then hung up.
After his guilty plea, we wrote:
Strauss received a 60-day suspended jail sentence, 11 months of supervised probation, a $300 fine, and $100 fine to be paid to the victims of violent crime compensation fund. As part of Strauss’ supervised probation, the shadow senator must “abstain from the use of hallucinatory or other drugs, and submit to drug testing….,” according to court documents.