President Pro Tempore of the Mississippi Senate Terry Burton has announced that he will step down after he was arrested on DUI charges in December.
“All good things must come to an end,” Burton said during an announcement to the Senate.
Burton went on to say that he did not want a “cloud to hang over” the Senate, and that while it has been his greatest honor to serve in this office, he decided to step aside out of respect to the body.
“You elected me to that position to be a leader, to do the right thing, to serve with dignity and honor. This Senate is bigger than any one individual. It’s bigger than any successes or failures of one individual. I truly respect the Senate, what it stands for, and I truly respect every one of you,” he said.
The members of the Senate will now elect a new Pro Tempore, and Burton’s resignation becomes official at midnight.
Burton also stated that, in addition to resigning from his leadership position in the Senate, he will not seek re-election in the upcoming election. Burton has served District 31 (Lauderdale, Newton, Scott) since 1992.
The most recent charge was Burton’s 3rd DUI charge, and he stated that he’s working through his personal issues.
“I’m turning it over to God, and I’m turning it over to the professionals I’m working with to deal with my personal issues,” Burton said.
The Senator was charged after the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to the scene of a crash on US 82 west of Starkville near HWY 182 and found Burton’s car in a ditch.
Burton reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .14 at the time of the crash.