Democratic Mayor Apologizes After Accident, Drunken Driving Arrest: 'I Made a Poor Decision'


The Democratic mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was arrested on a drunken driving charge early Sunday and publicly apologized hours later.

“I made a poor decision. I made a decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking at a local function,” Tom Henry said during a brief meeting with reporters.

The 70-year-old mayor was driving with his wife and mother-in-law after an event at the city’s Civic Theater on Saturday night when he was involved in a crash, WANE-TV reported, citing court records it obtained.

No one was injured, but Henry was subsequently booked into Allen County Jail on two misdemeanor charges: driving while intoxicated and endangering a person, and operating a vehicle while having a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent or more.

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The legal blood alcohol content limit in Indiana is 0.08 percent.

Citing court documents, WANE reported the mayor admitted to police he had had too much wine while attending a fundraising event.

Henry was released from jail on Sunday morning.

“I am terribly embarrassed by the poor decision-making that occurred last evening,” he told reporters.

“I am sorry that I put our police department in that situation last evening. I knew better. … I will be held accountable for those actions in future legal proceedings. I respect our legal process, and I will adhere to decisions made by our court, and I will accept those consequences,” the mayor said.

“As your mayor, I will not hide from my actions, nor will I make excuses. But today I do ask you to please respect my inability to speak to the facts of the matter until I am fairly and appropriately adjudicated, like everyone else who has been put in this position.”

He did not take any questions.

Henry is running for a fifth term as mayor, WANE reported.

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His Republican opponent, city councilman Tom Didier, urged the community to pray for the mayor and his wife.

“I have known the Henry family for much of my life. Cindy Henry actually was one of the first people to encourage me to run for public office. These relationships go beyond politics. I would encourage everyone to pray for them and all those involved in this accident and I hope that no one was seriously harmed,” Didier said in a statement, according to WANE.

A Democratic colleague praised the mayor for his response to the incident.

“This is a challenging time for our city,” Councilman Geoff Paddock said in a statement on Sunday afternoon, WANE-TV reported. “I want to thank the Fort Wayne Police Department and our outstanding police officers for following correct procedure and for their professionalism.

“I respect Mayor Tom Henry for stepping forward and taking responsibility for his actions on Saturday evening. I have known Tom and Cindy Henry for many years. They are good friends and dedicated community leaders.

“When those of us in the public spotlight falter, it is important to offer remorse and contrition, and ask for atonement from our constituents. Mayor Henry has done that today, and I applaud him for his statement.”

Henry was first elected as mayor in 2007, The Associated Press reported.

In June, he announced his plans to run again in 2023. Henry did not mention any alteration to that plan after his arrest.

Henry is the longest-serving mayor that Fort Wayne has ever had, according to WANE.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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