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Neighbor surprised to hear Pinal County Assessor arrested for DUI – (KNXV

FLORENCE, AZ – A Pinal County elected official has been arrested for DUI after he was caught allegedly driving drunk Monday.

“Do you want to say anything about what happened yesterday?” I asked as I approached Pinal County Assessor Paul Larkin’s house in Casa Grande. “No, I do not,” replied a woman as she closed the door.

That was the reaction when I went to Larkin’s house.

“We did have bad driving, as far as weaving,” said Tim Gafney of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday, Larkin was arrested for DUI after leaving the Kokopelli Moon Saloon in Florence.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s office told me they got an anonymous tip about Larkin’s drinking habits.

“The tip alleged that the county assessor, Paul Larkin, would frequent a bar on a daily basis, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then he would get inebriated and drive off,” Gafney said.

The sheriff’s office said that at 5:26 p.m. a 2008 Dodge Dakota drove out of the Kokopelli Moon Saloon and traveled westbound toward Christensen Road in Coolidge.

The vehicle was stopped by deputies after it was observed weaving and the driver, 67-year-old Lewis Paul Larkin of Casa Grande, reportedly smelled heavily of alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes.

Larkin admitted to having three mixed drinks and submitted to field sobriety tests which confirmed he was impaired by alcohol, according to officials.

PCSO said Larkin blew a .099 blood alcohol content (BAC) into a preliminary breath testing device. In Arizona it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.

And while following up Tuesday, I found out it might not be the first time alcohol has caused Larkin problems.

“Back in 2009, there was a citizen complaint that he was in fact driving his county vehicle while intoxicated at which point he had his county vehicle taken away,” Gaffney said.

But a neighbor of Larkin tells me, the arrest on Monday comes as a shock.

“I’m real surprised,” said Herman Deloney.

It’s not the man he knows who lives across the street.

“All I know is that I know him as a good neighbor,” Deloney said.

Now, PCSO will wait for the blood test to come back to confirm if Larkin was over the legal limit and his future as the county assessor will depend on voters.

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