Sullivan worried about fallout from DUI arrest

MUKILTEO — Snohomish County Council Chairman Brian Sullivan worried about what his arrest for investigation of drunken driving would mean politically, but he also thanked the officer for doing a good job, according to a police report released Monday.

Sullivan’s arrest came after another driver called police shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to report a gray Honda Civic weaving on the Mukilteo Speedway. Sullivan later took two breath tests that both measured his blood-alcohol content at more than .16 percent — double the legal limit for driving.

Sullivan worried aloud that his arrest would make the newspaper, something the arresting officer didn’t understand at first. Sullivan also fretted about losing his job. Sullivan initially didn’t tell the police officer he was a county councilman.

“I did not understand what he was talking about and (Sullivan) would not answer me,” the officer wrote. “He stated he was sorry and thanked me for doing a good job.”

Between the two samples, when the officer asked why he was so upset, Sullivan explained his political background, according to the Mukilteo police report.

Sullivan, 54, lives in Mukilteo — about a mile away from where he was arrested — and has been involved in city, county and state politics for three decades.

In the police report, the arresting officer describes responding to the initial 911 call and finding a Honda Civic parked outside a business in the 4500 block of Chennault Beach Road. The man who called police was sitting in a Lincoln, parked several yards behind the Honda.

Sullivan was walking away from the Lincoln toward the Honda. Sullivan told police he was driving the Honda and stopped because the other car was following him.

As the officer began to question him, Sullivan said he was headed home from Buck’s American Cafe in Everett. The councilman said he had started drinking around 3:30 p.m. and had a couple of glasses of wine. He later stated that he had about four glasses of wine, the report says.

The witness, a 70-year-old Mukilteo man, said he was driving westbound on the Boeing Freeway when the Civic passed him. He said he noticed the Civic was veering in and out of its lane. The witness followed him onto Mukilteo Speedway and later onto Chennault Beach Road.

That’s where both the witness and Sullivan pulled over and where police found them.

The Lincoln driver told police he worked in law enforcement when he was younger.

Sullivan served as Mukilteo’s mayor for two terms and led the city when it annexed the Harbour Pointe area.

He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2001 and won a seat on the Snohomish County Council in 2007. He won re-election to the County Council last year in a landslide.

Sullivan is one of 11 candidates on the Aug. 7 primary ballot for a one-month term in Congress. That spot opened up when Jay Inslee resigned from the House of Representatives to run for governor in Washington.

Sullivan owned and operated a pizza restaurant and brewery in Mukilteo for 14 years.

Reached Friday after entering a “not guilty” plea in Everett District Court, Sullivan said, “I’m just sorry.”

As the current chairman of the five-member County Council, Sullivan’s duties include taking a lead role in shaping next year’s county budget.

“I have complete confidence in Brian as council chair, and right now I don’t foresee that there will be any impacts on his council duties,” said Councilwoman Stephanie Wright, the council’s vice chairwoman.

Councilman Dave Somers agreed that the incident should have no effect on Sullivan’s ability to carry out his job.

“He’s got to deal with this as a personal issue,” Somers said.

Sullivan, Wright and Somers are Democrats.

Rikki King contributed to this report. Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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