Friday, December 05, 2008

Nixon Transition Adviser Cursed Trooper After Being Arrested For Drunk Driving

A former state lawmaker tapped by Governor-elect Jay Nixon to be a transition adviser for his administration once cursed at a Missouri state trooper after being arrested for drunk driving.

According to court documents, videotape showed former Democratic Rep. Phil Tate of Kirksville, confronting and cursing a law enforcement officer during a stop back in 1997.

Describing the incident, the Associated Press wrote: "At one point, an angry Tate curses as he rushes the trooper and jabs his finger in the officer's chest, then swats aside his DWI ticket before the men are separated."

Tate pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, received two years' probation and publicly apologized. Tate is quoted saying that the officer had "acted in a completely professional manner. I thought several times that I owe him an apology."
Tate resigned his House seat six months after his arrest, in August 1997, to become director of business expansion and attractions for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

A top Republican strategist wondered about the extent of research Nixon's staff has done on his selections. "Is he even doing background checks?," said the G.O.P. strategist to The Notebook.

On Friday, Nixon listed Tate as one of nearly 100 of the "best and brightest" leaders across the state to help him fill positions in his new administration.

"By appointing these Citizen Transition Advisers, we hope to discover great new public servants right in our own neighborhoods. Together, we will find the best team to overcome the challenges Missouri faces and move our state forward," Nixon said in a statement.

Tate is listed as one of the transition advisers from the North Missouri Region.

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