Morning Business: Buchanan Staffer Resigns

Posted September 9, 2008 at 6:34pm

Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan’s district director resigned this week after he was arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.2 — well above the 0.08 legal driving limit.

[IMGCAP(1)]Ronald Turner, 39, was arrested at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, just three months after a another drunken-driving arrest in Manatee County.

He told officers that he “had a glass of wine, as well as a vodka after that,” according to the probable cause affidavit. Turner also told officers that he had taken Hydrocodone earlier.

In the affidavit, Turner said he was heading home from a bar named Kirby’s. The arrest report describes a clearly drunk Turner, noting that his eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred and his breath smelled of alcohol.

Officers pulled him over after watching his Mercedes swerve “all over the road.”

He was charged with driving under the influence with a previous conviction, driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence with a blood alcohol of more than 0.2, according to the arrest report.

Buchanan spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts said Turner had worked as district director since January 2007, overseeing the operations of all of Buchanan’s district offices. He recently took a leave of absence to focus on his position as coordinator for Buchanan’s re-election campaign.

On Monday, he resigned both positions because of the arrest, Tibbetts said. The office is hoping to fill the campaign coordinator job “as soon as possible,” she said.