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Mayor to police: 'I'm going to deal with it'

Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry can be heard on a patrol car video telling police that he will deal with an employee who police say was drunk when he drove a city vehicle to a storm-damage site Saturday night.

"I'm going to deal with it, OK?" Usry can be heard telling Patrolman Keith Smith at the scene.

Public Works employee Scott Huff has been suspended for 10 days as a result of the incident.

"I guarantee you, he's at least .15," well over the legal limit, Smith tells Usry at one point in the video. A field sobriety test had been done, but no blood-alcohol test was performed before Usry drove Huff home in the city vehicle Huff had brought to the scene.

The officers tell the mayor that they have received numerous complaints about Huff's drinking, and the mayor replies, "He drinks all the time."

"I don't normally get in the middle of it," Usry tells Smith.

"Yes, sir, I understand," the officer says.

"But when it comes to one of y'all employees," Usry says, "I'm going to deal with you."

"And that might be the best way to deal with this," the officer says.

"I don't know if that's the right way, but we're going to deal with it in my way," Usry says.

"And you're the mayor; that's your (unintelligible)," Smith replies.

An earlier video segment shows Huff being given the field sobriety test. As the mayor arrives, Smith says, "The mayor can't help you on this, Scott. The mayor has nothing to do with what we do right now."

After some discussion, Usry says to Huff, "Come on with me."

Web posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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