Four days after his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving in connection with a crash that left four high school cheerleaders hospitalized, the mayor of Murrieta resigned Monday but said he would continue to seek a second term.
Alan Long, 44, was arrested on the evening of Oct. 16 evening after allegedly crashing his truck into a passenger vehicle filled with four teen Murrieta Valley High School students, who were all injured.
Two preliminary alcohol screenings showed Long was at and below the legal limit, but the mayor failed a field sobriety test and so was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, a police lieutenant said after the arrest. The screenings are not admissible in court but are used in the field for investigative purposes.
Long, who is running for a second term Nov. 4, said he feared his presence on the City Council would be a “distraction.”
“I believe that once all facts … have been revealed and legal due process is complete that I will be exonerated,” Long said in a statement.
He would resign nonetheless, he said, to “ensure there is not even a hint of impropriety.”
He would not withdraw from the Nov. 4 election, he said.
“Once the legal process is complete, I feel I will be exonerated, and therefore see no reason why I should not seek re-election,” he said.
Two students who were injured -- sisters -- have not been able to attend school due to head and neck injuries, according to their attorney.
Their attorney said he was outraged by the mayor's comments.
Long, a battalion chief with Anaheim's city fire department, expressed concern for the teens, aged 14 to 17, and apologized.
The mayor had appeared in national news coverage over the summer when he supported protesters who arrived to show opposition to undocumented immigrants who were bused to a federal facility in Murrieta.