After being arrested and charged with felony DUI, Oklahoma City Councilman Ronald "Skip" Kelly did not attend Tuesday's city council meeting, but his fellow council members did speak about his absence.
Police said Kelly was intoxicated when he crashed his car into a fire hydrant near N.W. 63rd Street and Shartel around 12:15 a.m. on Friday, January 20. An officer found Kelly inside the wrecked vehicle, which was still running.
Kelly refused take a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test, but agreed to a field sobriety test. The officer said Kelly failed the test and arrested him on suspicion of DUI. The councilman was charged Monday with a felony.
During Tuesday's city council meeting, fellow councilman Ed Shadid addressed Kelly's absence, saying his thoughts and prayers go out to him. He also said the public doesn't understand the magnitude of the problem, and he thinks it's time to talk about alcoholism in public.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to Skip Kelly and his family. It's been an intense week," Ed Shadid said.
Mayor Mick Cornett and Councilmen Gary Marrs and Larry McAtee were the only ones to not publicly comment about Kelly.
Councilman Pete White echoed Shadid's sentiments, and was visibly emotional when he spoke. Councilman Patrick Ryan also said the field sobriety test conducted by the arresting officer was a "weak test."
"It seemed like a fairly superficial test. I don't know how reliable it is over time," Patrick Ryan said.
Police Chief Bill Citty explains why the field sobriety test was given to the councilman.
"It just gives the officer one more element to determine whether or not that he thinks that person has been drinking or not," Citty said.
After the discussion, only one citizen came forward, demanding council force Kelly to resign, in light of the arrest and felony charge.
"Like cigarette smoking, alcohol, drugs. If they don't face the problem, they're never going to get well," Joe Sarge Nelson said.
Kelly was also arrested in April 2009 on a DUI complaint.