By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
10:38 PM EST, February 25, 2013
Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff said Monday he will give up his county-owned Jeep Grand Cherokee in the wake of his arrest this past weekend on charges of driving under the influence.
In a statement, Huff called relinquishing the vehicle, which he was driving the night of the arrest, "a first step toward accepting the consequences of my behavior."
Huff, a Lutherville Republican, was pulled over Saturday around 2:30 a.m. on York Road in Towson. Police said Huff submitted to a test at the precinct showing he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20. The legal limit is 0.08.
"There are no excuses for my behavior," Huff, 44, said in the statement. "I can only promise that I will not make the same mistake in the future."
Meanwhile, a local leader of Huff's own political party raised the issue of the county's use of taxpayer-funded cars, asking, "What kind of county business was being done when the councilman was pulled over?"
John Fiastro Jr., chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, said the committee "does not condone such behavior, regardless of party affiliation," adding that the committee would have questions for Huff. The committee plans to discuss the charges against the councilman at its next meeting, scheduled for March 11, he said.
But Fiastro added, "The county needs to have a real conversation about government-issued cars. I think the county fleet is to be used for county business. And that's one of the questions we're going to ask."
Six of the seven County Council members use county-owned vehicles, according to Tom Peddicord, the council's secretary and legal counsel. Council Chairman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, is the only member who has turned one down. The county insures the vehicles and pays for maintenance, Peddicord said, and council members pay for their personal mileage.
Former councilman Stephen G. Samuel Moxley, a Democrat who now serves in County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's administration, faced calls for his resignation from some residents after he was charged with driving under the influence in 2009. It was his second arrest on DUI charges in four years.
Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee Chairwoman Margie Brassil declined Monday to comment on Huff's arrest, as did Quirk.
Huff, who represents the northern part of the county, said in the statement he "made a very poor decision" Saturday.
"I am prepared to face the consequences of that decision, and I realize that I have caused my family and friends great pain. That is something I deeply regret," he said. "I also regret that I let down my colleagues and the citizens of the Third District, and I recognize that I will have to work hard to regain their trust as well. I will strive to do just that."
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