Rep. Todd Goes Golfing, Tells Governor He’s Sorry for ‘Bad Mistake’

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that Rep. Curry Todd has acknowledged and apologized for a “bad mistake” in being arrested on drunken driving and gun charges last week.
Haslam told reporters after a speech in Franklin that he had spoken with Todd at a charity golf tournament hosted by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell and Democratic Rep. Gary Odom earlier in the day.
“I just asked him how he was doing … He said, ‘I realize I made a bad mistake and I’m sorry,'” Haslam said.
Todd, a Collierville Republican, was arrested in Nashville the night of Oct. 11 after failing a roadside sobriety test and refusing to take a breath test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found in a holster stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console.
“It was a big mistake from Rep. Todd that could have had dangerous consequences, and I think he’s aware of that as well,” Haslam said.
“Drinking and driving is wrong under any circumstances,” he said. “Now obviously having a weapon in the car makes it worse.”
Todd, a retired Memphis police officer who holds a state handgun carry permit, was charged with possession of a gun while under the influence and drunken driving. He posted bail of $3,000 and was released from jail Wednesday morning.
Todd also led an effort to enact a new state law that allows handgun carry permit holders to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, if they don’t drink.
Haslam declined to weigh in on whether Todd should remain chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee following his arrest.
“I don’t think that’s my proper role to decide that. That’s why we have that branch of government,” Haslam said. “I’ll let the speaker and others in House leadership make that call.”
Haslam’s approach mirrors statements made by Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville, who said last week that Todd should be “punished to the fullest extent of the law,” but that it was up to the House to decide his leadership status.
Harwell was travelling out of state last week and said she wanted to meet with Todd before making a decision about whether he will keep his chairmanship.

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