Iowa State Rep. Francis “Chip” Baltimore was fired on Monday after his weekend arrest on drunk driving, reports 13 News. Rep. Baltimore was removed as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee by House Speaker Linda Upmeyer.
Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement regarding changes to the House Judiciary Committee:
“I have removed Rep. Baltimore as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Rep. Nunn will take over as Chairman for the remainder of session. Serving as a committee Chairman is a privilege that requires a higher level of trust and responsibility. Drinking and driving is unacceptable behavior that endangers the lives of all Iowans who wish to travel our roads safely. Rep. Baltimore’s actions were clearly irresponsible and he is being held accountable.”
Baltimore, also issued a statement regarding the change:
“From the moment I made the horrible decision, I have taken full responsibility for it and accepted any and all consequences resulting from it. Speaker Upmeyer and I have spoken several times over the last few days, and I wholeheartedly agree with and support her decision concerning the chair position of the House Judiciary Committee, as it is the right thing to do. I will work with Chairman Nunn to make the transition as smooth as possible. I do not want my situation to be a distraction from the work of the committee. And that’s exactly what it would have been, and that’s not necessary. The work of the committee needs to go on, because it does a lot of great work”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had this to say concerning the situation:
“It starts with admitting that you’ve made a mistake, and he’s done that. It starts with taking responsibility, and he’s also done that and said it was a horrible decision and he takes responsibility for that. I believe they’ve handled it. I’ll continue to keep him in my thoughts and prayers and move forward from there.”
But it should be noted that Gov. Reynolds also has DUI arrest of her own in her past. Gov. Reynolds says that she has since over came her alcohol addiction.
Baltimore blew twice the legal limit during his sobriety test on January 19 in Ames, Iowa on U.S. Highway 30. Baltimore fought to make drunk driving laws tougher in the state of Iowa.