San Antonio City Council will have a special meeting at 11 a.m. Jan 14 at City Hall, 114 W. Commerce St., to consider censuring District 10 Council Member Marc Whyte following his recent arrest for driving while intoxicated.

The background

Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Jan. 11 issued a memorandum stating he was stripping Whyte of his committee assignments and proposing council vote on a formal reprimand.

Whyte, who was elected to council in May, was arrested around 11 p.m. Dec. 29 during a traffic stop near Loop 410 and US 281, according to a San Antonio police report.

Local authorities said Whyte was pulled over for speeding, showed signs of intoxication and was evaluated on the scene.

According to police, Whyte said he had three total drinks that night—one each at three establishments along Northwest Military Highway north of Castle Hills—and had driven home Council Member Melissa Cabello Havrda, whom he met for dinner at one of the venues, El Mirasol restaurant.

Authorities said Whyte initially refused to have his blood drawn or take a breathalyzer test during the traffic stop. After Whyte was taken into custody, police secured a warrant and had gotten a blood sample from him overnight.

Whyte made his $2,000 bail and was released early Dec. 30.

Following his release from jail, Whyte publicly apologized for his behavior but said he would not consider resigning from his council spot.

Whyte’s court arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 30, according to court records. DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

Digging deeper

Council members except for Whyte met Jan. 10 in executive session to discuss Whyte’s situation. This is the second time in more than one year council members will consider rebuking one of their own over a criminal charge.

In November 2022, council voted to censure Whyte’s council predecessor, Clayton Perry, after he was involved in a DWI and vehicular hit-and-run incident.

Perry was allowed to represent District 10 for the rest of what turned out to be his final year in office as he declined a re-election bid. Perry in April was sentenced to one year of probation.

Following the council executive session, Whyte issued a statement, apologizing to council colleagues, family, friends and constituents. Whyte repeated previous remarks that while he did not feel intoxicated the night of Dec. 29, he should not have driven himself home.

“I have read your emails, listened to your phone calls, and value your constructive input and words of encouragement. These words will resonate with me for years to come,” Whyte said in a statement. “I remain committed to supporting law enforcement, promoting economic development, and advancing infrared initiatives for District 10’s neighbors and the city of San Antonio.”

Police on Jan. 11 released body camera footage of Whyte’s traffic stop and subsequent arrest.

In a Jan. 2 statement, Nirenberg said he spoken to Whyte and acknowledged his apologies for his actions. But Nirenberg said behavior such as that displayed by Whyte cannot be condoned.

“Representatives of the public should be held to a higher standard, and a further course of action will be determined once more details of the case come to light,” Nirenberg added.