Carlton County attorney arrested on suspicion of drunken drivingState Patrol Sgt. Curt Mowers said the traffic stop was made at 12:30 p.m. on Highway 61 in St. Louis County.
Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler was arrested today on suspicion of drunken driving and was being held in the St. Louis County Jail.
“I can tell you that we received a couple of driving complaints on him,’’ State Patrol Sgt. Curt Mowers said at 2:30 p.m. “A trooper found him and stopped him based on the driver’s conduct of the reporting parties. He was arrested.”
Mowers said the traffic stop was made at 12:30 p.m. on Highway 61 in St. Louis County.
Pertler, 47, told the News Tribune in March that he resigned his position as an adjunct instructor at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in February because he was embarrassed by his inability to communicate with students when he came to class after drinking at a bar with a boyhood friend.
Pertler said he believes his flawed ability to think that night was exacerbated by the pain medication he was taking for an injured shoulder. He said he didn’t have a drinking problem and has never sought chemical dependency counseling.
Pertler joined the Carlton County Attorney’s Office in 1995 and has been the county attorney since 2005. He was one of the attorneys involved in prosecuting the murderers of Paul Antonich and Katie Poirer.
He was an adjunct instructor at Fond du Lac from 2000 until February 27. He said a boyhood friend from the Twin Cities called him that day and said he was traveling to Duluth on business and they should get together.
Pertler said he and the friend went to a local bar about 4:30 p.m. that day — the Carlton County Courthouse closes at 4 p.m. — and shared two pitchers of beer in about 70 minutes before he drove to the college to address 38 to 40 law enforcement students in a class on Minnesota statutes.
On Feb. 27, he said he phoned a school official and retired Duluth Police Chief Scott Lyons, head of the law enforcement program at the tribal college, and told them of his decision to resign.
“Anybody who says they don’t make mistakes, they’re just telling you a bunch of B.S.,” Pertler said at the time. “I think a person, in my opinion, is better off by owning up to your stuff. … The thing I’d like to try to convey is that in both my professional and personal life, I try to do things right and the bottom line is that if something is up and you know that I’m the person at the helm I’m going to take responsibility, or take credit, if credit is due. I knew what I had to do.”