Secretary of State Hargett convicted on DUI charge

Secretary of State Tre Hargett speaks with Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) on Jan. 29, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo credit: Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Secretary of State Tre Hargett has entered a ”best interest” plea on a drunken driving charge following a visit to the Bonnaroo music festival earlier this year. He has served his 48-hour sentence and attended a victim impact course. Hargett last month gave up access to his state car for at least a year. He has no plans to resign.

A best interest plea, which is also known as an Alford plea, is one in which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the prosecution’s case would have likely resulted in a guilty verdict.

Here’s Hargett’s statement:

Today I offered a best interest plea to the charge of DUI. My counsel believes I had a strong case to argue before the court, and I have been surprised by some events and actions during this experience. However, my desire is to accept responsibility for my actions and move forward and to focus on how God can use me to make something positive from this difficult time.

The last few months have been humbling and at times very dark for me. I am deeply grateful to my wife and family for their support. Additionally, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness, grace, and forgiveness offered to me by so many people. Your consideration and courtesy will always be remembered.

It is wrong to drive any vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and rest assured this is a mistake I will never make again.


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