Kerry Burt pleads guilty

Just into the newsroom, a statement from State Rep. Kerry Burt (D-Waterloo).  Burt pleaded not guilty to an OWI charge filed in February and Burt's trial on the OWI charge was to start Monday in Polk County District Court.  No word in this statement on what the "resolution" may have been; KWWL-TV is reporting online that Burt pleaded guilty. Read the statement below:

"I wish to apologize to my family, colleagues, constituents, and all who share Iowa's roads for my poor judgment in drinking and driving.  There is no one but me to blame for my foolish decision.  Everyone who knows me recognizes that this action was completely out of character, and I will not allow it to happen again. 

"In the hope of setting the record straight so that all of us may move forward, I will relay what happened that morning: While driving on I-35 my tire blew out, which caused my vehicle to swerve and hit a barrier.
After determining that no one was hurt, I cautiously drove with flashers on to the nearest exit, where I knew I would find a convenience store at which to park and wait for a ride. 

"In the parking lot was Officer Phinney, who I approached to report the incident.  He suspected that I had been drinking, and – following proper police procedure – tested and subsequently arrested me.  The officer treated me with courtesy and respect and I applaud him for doing his job. 

"Contrary to a particular media depiction, I do not consider myself above the law or deserving of any preferential treatment.  I made a terrible mistake and rightfully am paying a price.  I hope this statement clears up any confusion that has surrounded this incident since I have no further comment on it.  Instead, I wish to focus my energies on putting together solid legislation that benefits the state and community to which I am devoted."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.