The mayor of Port Orchard was arrested on suspicion of DUI on Sunday, and in a statement issued Monday, he said he accepts responsibility for his actions.

Share story

After his arrest Sunday on suspicion of DUI, the mayor of Port Orchard issued a straightforward statement about the incident:

“As it has been reported, I was arrested by the Washington State Patrol the morning of May 2, for DUI. As a person who has always accepted responsibility for my actions, I will do so in this instance as well, no matter how it turns out, and expect no special treatment,” Lary Coppola wrote Monday.

Coppola, 59, was in his car about 1,000 feet from his home when the incident occurred at 1:58 a.m. Sunday, said Port Orchard Police Commander Geoffrey Marti. He had been blocking the car of a newspaper carrier, who called 911. “Speculation is that he (Coppola) felt that the activity of the other was suspicious,” Marti said.

When police arrived and believed Coppola to be intoxicated, they called Marti, who then called the State Patrol to take over. “My concern was I didn’t want people to perceive the mayor got any kind of special treatment from employees who work for him, obviously,” Marti said.

The mayor’s statement continued:

“I also applaud the actions of the Port Orchard Police Department in this situation. By calling in the Washington State Patrol, the officer on the scene immediately moved to avoid the appearance of any favoritism or conflict of interest, demonstrating the integrity and high standards that have earned the Port Orchard Police Department the excellent reputation it enjoys.”

It concluded, “On the advice of my attorney, until this case is resolved, I will have no further comment.”

The State Patrol’s Krista Hedstrom said troopers ran the mayor through standardized field sobriety tests, “and at the conclusion, the driver was placed under arrest for DUI.”

Coppola’s blood-alcohol level wasn’t available Monday.

After the arrest, Hedstrom said, the mayor “exercised his right to remain silent, but he was cooperative throughout his contact with us.” Later, she said, “He was released to a sober, responsible person. We believe it was his attorney.”

Coppola was to be in court Monday, but his case was moved from Kitsap County to Pierce County to avoid any conflict of interest, Hedstrom said.

Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259