By Chris Finch | WVUE | June 15, 2020
New Orleans City Council member Jared Brossett said he is going into rehab, Monday, following a DWI arrest and crash with another vehicle.
“The last 48 hours have been very difficult for me and my family. Due to the series of events that have recently occurred, after discussions with my primary care physician and my family, I am entering into an in-patient treatment program today,” he said in a statement on Monday. “I want to sincerely apologize to my family, particularly my mother, my colleagues, the citizens of New Orleans, all those involved and everyone that I have disappointed. To all those that I have let down, I cannot express how profoundly sorrowful I am. During this extremely difficult time I ask for your prayers as I commit myself to the hard work of becoming a better person.”
The crash happened Sunday morning before dawn. Brossett, who serves District D, was booked on DWI and reckless operations charges around 6 a.m. He was released from jail a few hours later.
The condition of the driver in the other vehicle is unknown.
District “B” Council member Jay Banks, District “C” Council member Kristin Gisleson Palmer and District “E” Council member Cyndi Nguyen released a statement regarding Brossett’s arrest saying, “There is no excuse for driving while impaired. We are relieved that no one was killed or seriously injured, but Jared must be held accountable for his actions. On the personal side, alcoholism is a disease; it is no different than diabetes or cancer in that no one wants to get it. As our friend and colleague, we are hoping that Jared gets the help that he needs.”
“I remain supportive of him I have expressed that to him. Whatever he needs, if I can help, he has it,” said Mayor Latoya Cantrell, Monday.
Council members Joe Giarusso, Helena Moreno and Jason Williams also commented on Brossett’s arrest, as well as calling for an in-depth review of the city’s vehicle use policy. The current policy dates back 2016 and indicates these cars solely be used for city business. However, 24-7 take-home use is allowed for certain, key positions, in which the employee needs a vehicle to respond to situations immediately.
Moreno and Williams announced, Monday, they would divide the district’s duties between themselves.
FOX 8 obtained body camera footage from the early morning arrest.
“I walked up on the scene and these people told me he had been drinking. I could see it,” said the NOPD officer who responded to the crash scene near Elysian Fields. “And I smell it.”
The video shows an officer discussing Council member Brossett’s condition with someone over the phone. It also includes an interview with a neighbor who witnessed the crash.
“He came through all of this,” he said pointing towards the neutral ground. “And hit this guy going the right way on the road.”
Brossett was driving a city-owned, take-home S-U-V when he was charged with D-W-I and reckless driving. He was transported to the hospital, according to body cam, because he was unable to answer questions from EMS.
FOX 8 spoke with Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche about the use of city-owned, take-home vehicles.
“If the city is going to be liable for the damages that were done from that accident, that is something that I don’t think the city can afford,” said Goyeneche. “If public officials need to use their car to go to meetings and other things like that, pay them a stipend, pay them a car allowance to do that.”
FOX 8 found one other DWI arrest for Council Member from 2006 out of Miami-Dade County.