Burton resigns as Pro Tem, will not seek reelection


Sen. Terry C. Burton, R-Newton, resigned his position as Senate Pro Tempore today in the opening session of the 2019 Legislative Session.

Burton, who faced calls from Republican leaders such as Lieutenant Gov. Tate Reeves to resign following his third DUI arrest, said he would step down as Pro Tem effective at midnight.

“I know that these things that I may have done on my personal time, my human frailty, my inability to behave the way a person should behave, I have affected you and our constituents and the thoughts they may have toward this body,” Burton said in his address to the Senate.

Burton apologized to the Senate for any repercussions his arrest may have cause them. He said he hoped his actions would not reflect back on his fellow Senators.

Additionally, Burton said he did not plan to seek reelection. He said he would continue to serve as Senator for Newton, Scott and Lauderdale counties for the remainder of the year but would not run for another term.

“I’m turning it over to God, and I’m turning it over to the professionals I’m working with to deal with my personal issues,” he said.

Burton was arrested by Mississippi Highway Patrol shortly after his car was located in a ditch along Highway 82 in Oktibbeha County around 9 p.m. Dec. 19. According to arrest documents, the officer smelled alcohol on Burton’s breath and requested a breathalyzer test. Burton had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .14, well over the legal limit of .08.

Burton had previously been acquitted by a Scott County judge of a DUI charge in 2016 after he claimed breath spray and cough syrup had caused a false positive. Prior to that, in 2014, he plead guilty to a DUI in Brandon, Miss.

Story by Thomas Howard

Video courtesy of Y'all Politics