Former state Sen. Gilbert Baker tested positive for methamphetamine, according to a toxicology report released Wednesday.
Two blood samples were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab following an Aug. 26 incident where Baker was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Conway City Attorney Chuck Clawson said he received the toxicology report Wednesday and that one of the blood samples indicated Baker tested positive for meth.
Baker, 60, pleaded guilty Tuesday for driving while intoxicated as well as refusing to take a breath test on Aug. 26. He was ordered to serve 24 hours in jail before Oct. 27. A driving left of center charge against him was dropped.
The toxicology report, which shows to have been completed Monday, was not made available to authorities until Wednesday.
"Once a report is completed, internally it goes through a technical and administrative review process," forensic toxicologist Eric Westhafer said in an email statement, explaining the delay to Deputy City Attorney Graham Jones. "It appears the review was completed on [Tuesday]. Once the administrative review is complete, the report is released to relevant agencies 24 hours after completion."
Even though Baker tested positive for meth, it "wouldn’t have changed our negotiated plea," Clawson said, noting prosecutors "treated him like we would anyone else in a DWI situation."
Phone calls to Baker and his defense attorney, Frank Shaw, were not returned by press time Wednesday.
Baker, who served as a Republican state senator who represented District 30 from 2001-13, is a music instructor at the University of Central Arkansas.
UCA spokesman Christina Madsen said she could not comment on Baker’s sentencing or as to whether testing positive for meth would affect his position at the university.
Shaw released a statement Tuesday 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. "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."
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)