Former state Sen. Gilbert Baker pleaded guilty Tuesday for driving while intoxicated as well refusing to take a breath test on Aug. 26.
Defense Attorney Frank Shaw asked Monday for the scheduled Oct. 3 plea hearing be pushed to an earlier date. The hearing was moved to Tuesday and Gilbert pleaded guilty in Faulkner County District Court.
Baker, 60, was ordered to serve 24 hours in jail within the next 30 days. A driving left of center charge against him was dropped.
Shaw released a statement Tuesday afternoon to the Log Cabin Democrat on Baker’s behalf stating his apologies for the two "serious mistakes" he made Aug. 26.
"First, I was very belligerent and disrespectful to several Conway police officers when they pulled me over," Shaw said on Baker’s behalf, noting the traffic stop occurred about five minutes from Baker’s home.
Baker, who served as a Republican state senator who represented District 30 from 2001-2013, was arrested around 9 p.m. Aug. 26. He was later released from the county jail on a $1,395 bond.
He has said he acted "belligerently out of frustration" but that there was "no excuse" for his actions toward Conway police.
"These officers were simply doing their jobs, and I sincerely regret making their jobs more difficult. I was wrong," the statement reads. "Secondly, I was wrong to have driven home from Little Rock after having had some alcohol earlier in the evening. I regret both bad decisions and accept the responsibility and consequences of those decisions."
Baker is currently a music instructor at the University of Central Arkansas.
UCA Public Relations and Marketing Associate Vice President Christina Madsen said the university did not have any comments on Baker’s conviction.
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)