Two months after being involved in an incident that sparked an arrest and investigation for driving while intoxicated, Clayton Perry, San Antonio City Council member for District 10, said Jan. 12 that he has returned from a sabbatical to his duties as an elected official on a full-time basis.
Perry took part in the Jan. 12 council meeting and issued a statement saying he is happy to back from a temporary leave of absence that was granted by his council colleagues following his being in a Nov. 6 vehicular hit-and-run.
The incident prompted the council to censure Perry and San Antonio law enforcement officials to pursue a DWI case against Perry. According to an arrest affidavit, Perry had 14 drinks within a four-hour period at the Evil Olive bar on the city’s northeast side prior to his allegedly hitting another motorist en route home Nov. 6.
In his statement, Perry thanked friends, supporters, staff and fellow city leaders, and said he was relieved that no harm came to the occupants in another vehicle that he allegedly struck in the aforementioned Nov. 6 incident.
Perry also voiced gratitude to Mike Gallagher, a former council member who volunteered to be appointed Perry’s interim replacement as the District 10 council representative.
"It’s been a tough couple of months, but I want to assure everyone that I kept the commitment I made at [my last council] meeting to follow all the appropriate measures as recommended by medical experts and will continue to do so; I’m not done and again ask for everyone’s compassion and forgiveness,” Perry said.
Neither Perry nor other city officials have offered details on whether Perry has sought help from counselors or health care professionals. However, he did pledge to focus on his council work and earning back the confidence of his colleagues and constituents.
“I am 100% devoted to ensuring this never happens again and committed to regaining your confidence,” Perry said. “We’ve got some really important events happening, and at this point I’m ready to get back to work with my colleagues, District 10 and the city staff.”
In a statement issued Jan. 11, Mayor Ron Nirenberg stuck to his previously stated stance that if the DWI investigation shows allegations against Perry are true, then he should resign. According to the city charter, only a conviction can allow the council to force a member to be removed.
Perry has neither addressed the DWI investigation nor announced whether he will seek re-election.
Eligible San Antonio residents have from Jan. 18 to 5 p.m. Feb. 17 to file for a ballot spot in the city’s May 6 mayoral and council election, per state election law. Upon his temporary appointment to the council, Gallagher said he would not seek the District 10 position in the May 6 election.