Alan Long announced Monday that he will step down as mayor of Murrieta just days after his arrest on suspicion of DUI in a crash that injured four high school students.
Long made the announcement during a Monday afternoon news conference at which he expressed "concern" for the four teens injured in Thursday night's crash at Jefferson and Lily avenues in Murrieta in southwestern Riverside County. Long, 44, was booked on suspicion of DUI causing bodily injury, according to Riverside County jail records.
"I am well aware that being involved in such a high profile accident in my position as mayor and as a member of the City Council will be a distraction," Long said in a statement at the news conference.
The resignation is effective immediately, but Long said he plans to remain a candidate in the Nov. 4 election.
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Long was arrested Thursday night after officers determined that a "full-size" truck had rear-ended a passenger vehicle carrying four Murrieta Valley High School students, ages 14 to 17. The students' injuries were described as "moderate to major," according to a police department statement.
"Officers contacted the driver of the truck who was the sole occupant of his vehicle," police said in a statement. "The driver had signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol impairment. The driver participated in some standardized field sobriety tests, and officers determined that the driver was in fact impaired."
Long's blood alcohol content was .07, just below the legal limit of .08, but investigators were also waiting for blood test results, police said.
The girls had just attended a pep rally ahead of Friday night's football game. Three of the four victims were released from a hospital Friday, but details regarding the fourth victim's condition were not immediately available.
Long was speeding and driving recklessly, according to an attorney for two of the victims, L Wallace Pate.
"I understand from the witnesses that I talked to that he ran a stop sign," Pate said
An attorney for Long, who is running for re-election on Nov. 4, said he helped the victims at the scene, talked to their parents and cooperated with police.
Long, also serves as a battalion chief for Anaheim Fire and Rescue, was booked into jail on $50,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
A court date was scheduled for Dec. 11.
Supporters say they will still vote for Long in November's election, including some who have already voted for him by absentee ballot.
"He showed respect for every individual," Murrieta resident Joan Padberg said. "That's the type of man he is."
Long was in the national spotlight earlier this year when a busload of undocumented immigrants, bound for the Murrieta Border Patrol Station for processing, was blocked by protesters.
Long criticized the federal government's handling of the immigrant transfer, part of a plan to alleviate what the Obama administration as a humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors in federal custody along the U.S.-Mexico border.