Region 8 mayor arrested for DWI, apologizes to community

BRINKLEY, AR (KAIT) – A Region 8 mayor was arrested early Sunday morning.

According to booking records from the Brinkley Police Department, Ronnie Conley, 55, was released from jail after posting a $1,750 bond.

Conley is the mayor of Cotton Plant. He was arrested around 3 a.m. by a trooper with Arkansas State Police and was charged with DWI, refused to submit, speeding, and littering.

Conley is expected to be in court March 7.

On Monday, Mayor Conley apologized to the community in the following letter:

To the Citizens of Cotton Plant, City Council, my family, and friends:

"I want to take this time to apologize for my arrest for Driving While Intoxicated on Sunday a.m., February, 16, 2014 on Highway 17.  I do take this matter to be one of a serious nature.  I do not take it lightly at all.

There can be no anger directed at me, or disappointment in me, greater than my own.  I am not a person who gives excuses nor will I give one now.  This situation has caused a distraction to all the accomplishments that the City of Cotton Plant has made in the last seven years.

I apologize, for the negative publicity that the City of Cotton Plant has endured and I am willing to take full responsibility for my actions.  To that end, I plan to spend the rest of my time learning from this incident and earning back the respect of the Citizens of Cotton Plant, City Council, my family, and friends.

In the news broadcast by Channel 7 – KATV, I was surprised by their visit and was not prepared to make a statement at that time.  The description of my "nonchalant" body language was unfair and does not fully represent how I feel about the seriousness of the allegations against me. Let me be clear, Drinking and Driving is serious.   I understand the seriousness of the allegations against me and I will address them in the appropriate forum.

During my tenure as Mayor of Cotton Plant, I have worked to expand access to economic opportunity to the Citizens of Cotton Plant, the  City of Cotton Plant and the Delta region.  During my tenure, I have tried to shed light on the vast economic disparity that surrounds the City of Cotton Plant and this region compared to others throughout the State of Arkansas. Unfortunately the news media has chosen to cover an unfortunate and regrettable incident that occurred to me, instead of "shining" light on the economic problem that engulfs the Citizens of Cotton plant and this region.  We have far too long been stuck in an impoverished state with no since of urgency from the media to publicly voice these conditions.

Make no mistake about it, and notwithstanding this regrettable incident, I will continue to work, tirelessly, to support the goals of economic growth and economic opportunity for the Citizens of Cotton Plant and this region.

I want to assure the Citizens of Cotton Plant, especially the children whose love and respect I have earned over the years that this situation will never happen again.   I would to thank those who have offered support  and again, I would like to apologize sincerely to everyone.  I hope that you will see in your hearts to forgive me."

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