For the second time in three months, the Clarke County prosecutor has been arrested.
Outgoing Clarke County Attorney Michelle Rivera was arrested Friday on suspicion of operating while intoxicated, according to court records. The 42-year-old was also hit with a child endangerment charge.
A Clarke County sheriff’s deputy made contact with Rivera after getting a call about an erratic driver. The woman who called said someone nearly hit her car, ran a stop sign and pulled in at the Clarke County Courthouse, according to court documents. Authorities were given a license-plate number and located the car at the Clarke County Courthouse.
Near 8 a.m. Friday, the deputy came to the courthouse and asked Rivera about the driving complaint. She acknowledged that someone honked at her near a stop sign. When the deputy asked if she had been drinking, she said not since Thursday night, but she was concerned that there was still alcohol in her system.
The deputy said he could smell alcohol on Rivera’s breath and asked her take standardized field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer. She declined to blow, but took the field tests and exhibited signs of intoxication, court records state.
Rivera was taken to Clarke County Jail where she again declined to provide a breath sample. The deputy said after talking with Rivera, he figured that she had taken her daughter to daycare that same day. The child is not believed to have been in the car when the erratic-driver call came in, but the officer surmised that Rivera was operating while intoxicated when dropping the girl off.
Rivera, a Democrat who lost her re-election bid in November, was arrested in October on suspicion of being drunk on the job in a Clarke County courtroom. A sheriff’s deputy said in a criminal complaint that he noticed Rivera “slurring her words and stumbling on her feet” in the Osceola courtroom. He arrested her after she refused to take a breath test. She was charged with public intoxication.
She later apologized and asked voters to give her another chance.
Rivera is due in court in court at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Rivera’s office was closed Saturday and was not accepting messages. A home phone number for Rivera could not be found. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2018/12/15/clark-county-attorney-michelle-rivera-arrested-second-time-operating-while-intoxicated/2325615002/