Exclusive: Cotton Plant mayor speaks out after DWI arrest

COTTON PLANT (KATV) - The mayor of the small town of CottonPlant was arrested by Arkansas State Police, Sunday morning for driving whileintoxicated.{} Mayor Ronnie Conleyadmitted to KATV that this wasn't the first time he's been arrested for DWI.

Conley was brought to the Brinkley City Jail early, Sundaymorning, arrested on charges of DWI, DWI refusal, speeding, littering anddrinking on the highway.{} He posted a$1,750 bond just hours later and got his car out of impound at Landon's Towingin Brinkley shortly after.

The vehicle Conley was driving was his city-issued whiteCrown Victoria with a green-stripe.

"I was taking care of city business as well," saidConley.{} But when asked if drinking onthe job is city business he responded, "Well politicians have a tendency todrink all the time we have business.{} Wehave social affairs where we do drink of course."

In an interview with KATV, Conley admitted to DWI's beforewhile he was in college.{} Residents saySunday's DWI arrest doesn't surprise them - commenting that he's done itbefore, but made it under the radar.

"Everybody drinks," said Sammie Dilworth, long-time residentof Cotton Plant.{} "He just got caught."

Back in 2012, Conley was at the center of a recall vote toget him out of city hall.{} The recallorganized by Concerned Citizens of Cotton Plant gathered more than 100signatures for the recall - a large percentage of registered voters in the townof just under 700 people.{} The recallfailed and Conley remained in office.

"Having a DWI is a whole lot different than having a recall,"said Conley.{} "Those are not connectednone whatsoever."

With 2014 marking eight years in office for Conley, and thebeginning of an election year for him, Conley certainly hopes Cotton Plantresidents are as nonchalant about his arrest as he seems to be.

"It's a common thing that when we do go to conferences andthings like that, we do drink," said Conley.{}"It was a stupid mistake and I'll live up to and take my responsibilities."

Conley will take his responsibilities to Brinkley DistrictCourt when he's set to appear before a judge March 7 at 9:00 AM.


BRINKLEY, Ark. (AP) - Brinkley Police say Cotton Plant Mayor Ronnie Conley was arrested by Arkansas State Police for driving while intoxicated.

Conley was arrested about 3 a.m. Sunday by an Arkansas State Police trooper and was released after posting $1,750 bond.

A working phone number for Conley could not be immediately located and phone calls Sunday afternoon to the Cotton Plant mayor's office rang unanswered.

Cotton Plant is a town of about 650 residents in Woodruff County about 80 miles east of Little Rock.

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