Crime - Sacto 911

Stockton’s youngest councilman arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

Michael Tubbs a 22-year-old Stanford graduate from South Stockton stands in Downtown Stockton on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.
Michael Tubbs a 22-year-old Stanford graduate from South Stockton stands in Downtown Stockton on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. hamezcua@sacbee.com

A Stockton councilman who rose to national prominence two years ago as a young Stanford University honors graduate intent on serving his hometown was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of drunken driving.

Michael Tubbs, 24, was arrested at 3:50 a.m. by California Highway Patrol officers and held for a time at San Joaquin County jail. CHP officers pulled him over after spotting a fast-moving Dodge sedan heading south on Highway 99 near Hammer Lane, according to a CHP report.

Tubbs apologized to his city and constituents Monday, saying he let them down. In a statement, a contrite Tubbs said he was “embarrassed by my mistake” and hoped to “put this item firmly in my past.”

“On Friday evening, I made a poor decision to drive when I should not have,” Tubbs said in the statement. He said he thought he was within “legal limits to drive,” but added an apology “to my friends, family, colleagues and, most importantly, to the constituents of Stockton that I have let down.”

CHP officers said the car was traveling faster than the posted 65 mph speed limit and stopped the driver, identified later as the city councilman.

An officer “noted the signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication,” according to a CHP report, and arrested Tubbs on suspicion of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level above 0.08.

Tubbs, who represents District 6 on Stockton’s south side, gained prominence two years ago, when he ran to become the city’s youngest-ever councilman. Tubbs was born to a teenage mother and an incarcerated father and focused part of his campaign on helping Stockton’s at-risk children fulfill the potential he did. He landed internships at the White House and Google and graduated with honors at Stanford.

Tubbs’ campaign caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey, who donated $10,000 toward his election. His successful run for office is the subject of the documentary “True Son.”

On Monday, Stockton Mayor Michael Silva said he hoped Tubbs’ arrest would be a “learning lesson.” Silva said he was more focused on the issues bedeviling the city, including its homicide rate and bankruptcy proceedings.

“Everyone knows that I believe in second chances. This is a city of second chances,” Silva said. “He made a mistake. Hopefully, it will be a learning lesson. The most important thing was that nobody was injured.”

Tubbs, meanwhile, sought to assure constituents that “100 percent of my efforts will remain in service to this community.”

The Stockton City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

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