Lawmaker Arrested on DUI Charges, Leadership Post Suspended

A Connecticut lawmaker who co-chairs the General Assembly's Public Safety Committee has been suspended from his leadership post after being arrested on a drunken driving charge.

Democratic Rep. Joe Verrengia of West Hartford, a retired sergeant from his city's police department, was charged Wednesday with driving under the influence. The arrest was released on Thursday.

Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz of Berlin issued a statement Thursday saying he had suspended Verrengia from his chairmanship of the committee, which oversees police matters.

West Hartford Police say they received three 911 calls Wednesday about a vehicle stopped in the travel lane with its driver apparently asleep at the wheel. The car resumed traveling to Verrengia's home, where he was arrested.

On Thursday, Verrengia has declined commenting on the advice of his lawyer.

On Friday, he released the following statement:

"I apologize to my family, friends and community for my actions and take full responsibility. I have disappointed many and have much work to do to gain back trust. Therefore, I am dealing with this situation head-on. In doing so, it is my hope that I can regain trust in those who I have let down."

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