Friday, October 28th, 2016

Wausau Herald calls for Wood’s resignation


The Wausau Herald calls for State Representative Jeff Wood’s resignation following Wood’s fourth arrest for OWI.  From the editorial:

 We understand that public officials are human beings who make human mistakes. But Wood’s case is complicated by prior arrests and convictions, as well as by a recent vote he cast in the Legislature. 

Wood has two OWI convictions on his record from the early 1990s. More troubling is his arrest in December in Columbia County, when he was charged with drunken driving and possession of marijuana.

On Wednesday night, state troopers pulled him over after a witness called 911 and reported his erratic driving. Wood, who did not have alcohol in his blood, appeared intoxicated in police video of his incident. State troopers found a nearly empty bottle of the prescription pills Lorazepam, a depressant, that had been filled the day before.

If convicted in both of these recent cases, Wood would be guilty of fourth-offense OWI.

Wood voted last week in favor of a package of measures meant to deal with drunken driving, including a law that would make fourth-offense OWI a felony. The bill passed unanimously in the Assembly.

That legislation hasn’t yet been picked up by the Senate, so even if he is convicted a fourth time, he would not be guilty of a felony. But Wood is a public official, and his word should mean something. If he believes fourth-offense OWI is a serious enough crime to warrant felony charges, he has an opportunity now to set an example by resigning from his office and taking responsibility for his actions.
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