Release ref postings on the Saunders County Community Board on Facebook
I am posting this in reference to some posts on a community board and my campaign page. I am a person who is honest and want to be upfront with voters.
In August of 2012, I was at my family’s Platte river island cabin property with family and friends. On the way home, I was stopped by a Trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol for speeding south of Morse Bluff on Highway 79. After a series of tests, I was arrested for DUI 1st Offense and was booked into corrections until any alcohol was out of my system and I could post bond.
As we drove toward corrections, I can tell you without hesitation, this was one of the worst moments in my life. I had let so many people down, including myself. I could not believe that an enjoyable summer afternoon with my family and friends had gotten away from me. I was better than that but unfortunately, I had let my guard down on this day and made a huge mistake.
At the time, I did not personally know the Trooper who arrested me, however he is a super guy and we have since become friends and have worked side by side on incidents in Saunders County. He was compassionate yet very professional throughout the situation and never spoke down to me or treated me poorly for my decision to drink and drive. I never used my position with the Sheriff’s Office as leverage and I believe that he could tell that I had already learned the lesson of a lifetime. I learned a lot from how he conducted himself on that day.
The next morning I wished it had all been a bad dream but unfortunately it was real. I had so much going through my head. Initially it was all about ME but then I eventually had the realization, “I could have injured someone and I am actually lucky this was as bad as it was.”
My parents had taught me to be honest and if you make a mistake (no matter how big it is) own up to the mistake, learn from it and make it right.
I decided that day to learn from the situation and not let it define who I was. I went through the court process, plead guilty, and received the same sentence as others at the time were receiving from the judge. In addition to a fine, I was on probation for 6 months and lost my CDL. This affected me financially because I owned a trucking company. The DUI conviction was "set-aside" by the county court Judge after a hearing in court three years later.
5 years later I applied for the position of a full time Deputy Sheriff in Saunders County and was hired by Sheriff Stukenholtz. After serving as a full time deputy for 3 years, I applied for an opening as a Sergeant with the department. I was chosen by Sheriff Stukenholtz for the position of Sergeant, which I hold today. I believe I have proven to the Sheriff’s Department that I have learned from the past.
Even though this was nearly 10 years ago, my poor decision still haunts me. I am thankful for the support of my friends and family and so glad this incident did not have a terrible outcome.
I am a huge advocate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and am here to tell you to please make plans before you leave the house because otherwise making the plan after consuming a few drinks may come with life changing consequences. Use a designated driver at all times!
My incident has taught me so much about life, dealing with others who have made poor choices and picking yourself up and getting back on track. I hope this helps clear up any questions anyone had.