Exclusive: Cotton Plant mayor speaks out after DWI arrest - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Exclusive: Cotton Plant mayor speaks out after DWI arrest

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COTTON PLANT (KATV) - The mayor of the small town of Cotton Plant was arrested by Arkansas State Police, Sunday morning for driving while intoxicated.  Mayor Ronnie Conley admitted to KATV that this wasn't the first time he's been arrested for DWI.

Conley was brought to the Brinkley City Jail early, Sunday morning, arrested on charges of DWI, DWI refusal, speeding, littering and drinking on the highway.  He posted a $1,750 bond just hours later and got his car out of impound at Landon's Towing in Brinkley shortly after.

The vehicle Conley was driving was his city-issued white Crown Victoria with a green-stripe.

"I was taking care of city business as well," said Conley.  But when asked if drinking on the job is city business he responded, "Well politicians have a tendency to drink all the time we have business.  We have social affairs where we do drink of course."

In an interview with KATV, Conley admitted to DWI's before while he was in college.  Residents say Sunday's DWI arrest doesn't surprise them – commenting that he's done it before, but made it under the radar.

"Everybody drinks," said Sammie Dilworth, long-time resident of Cotton Plant.  "He just got caught."

Back in 2012, Conley was at the center of a recall vote to get him out of city hall.  The recall organized by Concerned Citizens of Cotton Plant gathered more than 100 signatures for the recall – a large percentage of registered voters in the town of just under 700 people.  The recall failed and Conley remained in office.

"Having a DWI is a whole lot different than having a recall," said Conley.  "Those are not connected none whatsoever."

With 2014 marking eight years in office for Conley, and the beginning of an election year for him, Conley certainly hopes Cotton Plant residents are as nonchalant about his arrest as he seems to be.

"It's a common thing that when we do go to conferences and things like that, we do drink," said Conley.  "It was a stupid mistake and I'll live up to and take my responsibilities."

Conley will take his responsibilities to Brinkley District Court when he's set to appear before a judge March 7 at 9:00 AM.


BRINKLEY, Ark. (AP) - Brinkley Police say Cotton Plant Mayor Ronnie Conley was arrested by Arkansas State Police for driving while intoxicated.

Conley was arrested about 3 a.m. Sunday by an Arkansas State Police trooper and was released after posting $1,750 bond.

A working phone number for Conley could not be immediately located and phone calls Sunday afternoon to the Cotton Plant mayor's office rang unanswered.

Cotton Plant is a town of about 650 residents in Woodruff County about 80 miles east of Little Rock.

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