Spillane told Fayetteville officers he’d just come from a tavern and had two beers but insisted he wasn’t intoxicated, according to body camera footage of the arrest obtained by Channel 2 Action News. A woman identified as Spillane’s wife was heard in the background begging the police chief not to take a field sobriety exam, which ended with Spillane’s arrest.
His next court date is Sept. 13, according to court records.
Spillane, a former deputy chief of the Atlanta Police Department, joined the university last November after the former police chief was removed following a double shooting and a handful of robberies on campus.
Officials said Spillane’s arrest “has reflected negatively on the University to the highest degree” for someone in his position.
“My expectation is that you will uphold the responsibility of your position and that any future incident or action reflecting negatively on your position or the University could result in your dismissal,” Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Jerry Rackliffe wrote in the July 21 letter.
Spillane said it’s been a balancing act to return to the office and deal with the arrest, but that he’s been meeting with staff one-on-one regarding the arrest and has had a “tremendous amount of support.”
He’s hoping the arrest makes for a learning lesson for others: “I want people to know if you do have two beers, you can go to jail, and if you’re failing to maintain your lane, be arrested.”
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