DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Iowa first lady Mari Culver has pleaded guilty to public intoxication after troopers saw her swaying and stumbling at the Iowa State Fair last month, court records show.
In a statement issued Friday through her attorney, Culver expressed remorse for the actions that led to her Aug. 19 arrest on the Midway.
“I am very disappointed in myself and sorry for the embarrassment this has caused my loved ones,” Culver said. “It was a mistake, I’ve learned from it and it will not happen again.”
Culver is a lawyer and the wife of former Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, who served in office from 2007 to 2011. She currently works as an assistant Iowa attorney general under Democrat Tom Miller, investigating and prosecuting consumer fraud.
A criminal complaint filed this week says an Iowa State Patrol officer observed Culver “stumble into three people” Aug. 19 and that two other troopers observed similar actions. The trooper wrote that Culver’s speech was slurred and she was having trouble standing.
The complaint says the trooper contacted a transport vehicle to move her to the state patrol’s fair compound to face processing for public intoxication. The complaint says a preliminary breath test found she had a blood alcohol content of .189, which would be more than twice the legal limit for driving. It says that she was then released to an unidentified family member.
Culver pleaded guilty to a simple misdemeanor charge this week and was fined $65 plus surcharges and court costs.
When she was first lady, the state patrol provided security for Culver and her family.
Culver began her job as a state lawyer in August 2016 and earns $122,000, said attorney general’s office spokesman Geoff Greenwood. That’s the top of the pay scale for her job.
“Mari informed the office of the incident shortly after she received the citation,” Greenwood said. “As this is a personal matter that does not involve our office, we have no comment.”