Lights & Sirens

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UPDATED: State schools chief Randy Dorn arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Orting

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 23, 2010 at 9:28 am |
March 23, 2010 9:46 am

From News Tribune reporter Melissa Santos:

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn was arrested early Sunday in Orting under suspicion of driving under the influence, his office confirmed Tuesday.

The traffic stop occurred at about 1:30 a.m. at roughly the 300 block of Washington Avenue North, said Orting Police Chief Bill Drake. That’s the same block as Orting High School.

Dorn said in a statement Tuesday that he and his family were attending a community event Saturday night where he drank beer with dinner. He was stopped by local police on the way home, he said.

Dorn said that he isn’t able to discuss further details of the incident right now.

“The public has a right to information regarding the conduct of elected officials,” Dorn said in his statement. “However, I hope people will understand and respect that this is a personal legal matter that at this time I am not at liberty to discuss.”

Police cited Dorn for an alleged DUI, Drake said. He wasn’t booked into Pierce County Jail, according to booking records.

Drake said he wouldn’t release any more information yet because it was a pending investigation. The city prosecutor will review the incident and will decide whether or not to press charges, Drake said.

As of Monday night, the prosecutor said he had yet to review any information related to the case.

“It’s standard procedure to not release any information about a pending investigation until it’s been reviewed by the prosecutor,” Drake said Monday. DUI suspects are often released after their arrest pending further charges, he added.

Dorn was elected in 2008 to a four-year term leading Washington’s K-12 school system, unseating three-term incumbent Terry Bergeson. Dorn was executive of the Public School Employees of Washington union from1999 until taking his new job. Earlier in his career, he served seven years in the state House, and worked as a teacher and principal in Eatonville and other districts.

The Eatonville resident based much of his election campaign two years ago on getting rid of the controversial Washington Assessment of Student Learning, saying it doesn’t provide meaningful feedback and is too time-consuming. Starting this year, high school students are taking the High School Proficiency Exam instead of the WASL, while students in grades three through eight will take the Measurements of Student Progress.

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