Democratic Arizona Lawmaker Albert Hale Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Democratic Arizona lawmaker and former Navajo Nation President Albert Hale was arrested on Sunday night on suspicion of DUI.

The state Department of Public Safety, which made the arrest, declined comment. The Navajo County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Hale, 64, was booked into jail in Holbrook and later released.

See also: -10 Best Arizona DUIs

The arrest probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows Hale: He's a scofflaw who's received at least eight traffic tickets in the past 15 years, and he avoided serious counts of bribery and taking kickbacks in the late 1990s only by resigning his post as Navajo president.

He's a smart, resilient guy: After his scandalous, failed career in Navajo politics, Hale returned to a career in private practice, worked on Navajo water rights issues and in 2004 was appointed to fill a vacancy in the State Senate. He remained a state senator until moving over to the state House in 2011.

Hale won reelection this year. (Correction: earlier version of article reported incorrectly that Hale didn't run this year. Sorry about that.)

UPDATE 1: Got a call back from his Phoenix attorney, Michael Nelson. He doesn't want to say much while his client stands accused.

"He respects the process," Nelson said of Hale. "He'll comply with all court orders."

UPDATE 2: State Representative Eric Meyer, House minority whip, released the following statement: "This is very disappointing news and we are still waiting to understand the situation better. We have every expectation that Rep. Hale will comply with the investigation and will act responsibility (sic)."

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

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