Friday, January 31, 2014

SCDOT head resigns after DUI charge

Robert St. Onge sent resignation letter to governor’s office today

Posted by Paul Bowers on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 5:20 PM

click to enlarge Robert St. Onge - LEXINGTON COUNTY DETENTION CENTER
  • Lexington County Detention Center
  • Robert St. Onge

The head of the S.C. Department of Transportation is resigning today after being arrested in Lexington County on a charge of driving under the influence.

Secretary Robert St. Onge submitted his resignation to Gov. Nikki Haley today, according to Haley spokesman Doug Mayer.

"General St. Onge is a good man with a lifetime of service to his country and, more recently, our state," Mayer said in a prepared statement. "That said, we have a no-tolerance policy for our state agency directors, and so General St. Onge has resigned as Secretary of Transportation. The governor thanks him for his work fixing the serious fiscal issues he inherited at the Department of Transportation — the state is better off because of his service."

St. Onge, a retired Army major general, was appointed by Gov. Haley and confirmed by the state Senate in February 2011.

St. Onge did not answer his home phone number when called today. Columbia TV station WLTX, which broke the story of St. Onge's arrest and resignation, is reporting that St. Onge was pulled over on Interstate 20 around 8 a.m. Friday morning because an officer noticed he was driving erratically. According to the WLTX report, St. Onge had a blood alcohol content of .20 when tested at the Lexington County Detention Center.

A spokesman for the Lexington County Sheriff's Office said in an e-mail that S.C. Highway Patrol arrested St. Onge "on a charge of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs." St. Onge was booked at the Lexington County Detention Center Friday at 9:59 a.m. and was released Friday afternoon on a $2,267 personal recognizance bond. The spokesman directed further questions to Highway Patrol, where a spokesman could not immediately be reached.

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