Marinette Mayor Robert Harbick will meet with city hall employees today to discuss an alcohol-related crash that occurred Saturday.EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Marinette Mayor Robert Harbick will meet with city hall employees today to discuss an alcohol-related crash that occurred Saturday.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
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MARINETTE - Marinette Mayor Robert Harbick, 68, was arrested and taken to jail for drunken driving following an accident at 3:46 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Hall Avenue and Hattie Street.
Harbick drove his car from the parking lot of Taco John's, across Hall Avenue and into a traffic light near Cusack's Pub. He then drove back to the Taco John's lot before officers arrived.
Officers with the Marinette Police Department handled the crash investigation but the Wisconsin State Patrol was called in to make the arrest. According to a statement by the State Patrol, this was Harbick's first offense for operating while intoxicated.
"I made a terrible judgment. I should never have went driving," Harbick said in a telephone interview with the EagleHerald Sunday. "I fell asleep in the car and I think I rolled across the intersection. Thank God I wasn't hit and I knocked down a light pole."
Harbick has spent much of his life in public service. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was a sheriff and deputy sheriff, county clerk and now mayor. To find himself on the other side of the law was an eye-opener for him.
"I had handcuffs on and they put me in a cell, (I) called and my lovely bride picked me up." Harbick said the entire experience was very humbling. "It's my fault. I got the total blame. I'm going to take the total blame."
The mayor said the incident is an embarrassment to his family, the community and himself.
"I'm just god-danged happy that nobody got hurt. And really I mean it because what the hell was I doing driving yesterday afternoon? I had no business being out there," he said. "My wife was in town and I was out here on the shore and I made an ass out of myself and I fully admit it. I'm not going to hide from nothing. If they want to get rid of me as mayor, I'll leave."
Breath and blood/alcohol content tests were administered but neither the Marinette Police Department nor the State Patrol had the results available because of the holiday weekend.