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Racine County DA Rich Chiapete talks about his OWI citation

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RACINE CO. (WITI) -- He was cited for OWI and hit-and-run on Friday night, and on Monday, Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete talked with FOX6 News about what happened. Chiapete says he made poor decisions -- but hopes he is given a chance to right this wrong.

Chiapete was back at work on Monday, April 7th. From his eighth-floor office, he got right to the point when talking with FOX6.

"I should be held to higher standard to everyone else. There is absolutely no excuse for what happened on Friday," Chiapete said.

Chiapete says he had a few drinks at a birthday party before driving home around 10:00 p.m. Friday.

Racine police say Chiapete ran his 2004 Volkswagen into a light pole.

Neighbors say they watched Chiapete circle his vehicle before walking away from the crash.

Police matched the car's registration to Chiapete's home address -- and subsequently wrote him tickets for OWI and hit-and-run.

Chiapete says he's owning up to the mistakes.

"Made a series of probably the poorest decisions I have ever made in my entire life. And I take full responsibility for it. For everything that happened. For everything I did that night," Chiapete said.

Chiapete says he's not going to step down as District Attorney -- a position he's held since 2012.

"I don't want to step down. I want people to understand I made a mistake -- a horrible mistake. A horrible series of mistakes. I don't want that to define me. I want to be able to show people they can trust me again," Chiapete said.

Racine police have not released copies of Chiapete's citations. They say there will be no further information released on this incident pending an external review being completed by the Wisconsin State Patrol.



  • John9_S

    Wow, Matt4235, we should all strive to be perfect like you. This guy made a bad mistake, and is paying a higher consequence than most (which is understandable given his job). But the level of hate swirling around about this, is astonishing.

    • matt4235

      Im not perect, but i would NEVER put innocent peoples lives at risk by doing something that is as dangerous and stupid as driving drunk.

  • Ahmed Jenkins

    That is incorrect John, he is paying a LOWER consequence. Anyone else would have been charged with OWI, hit and run and Criminal Damage to Property. The Hit and Run and Criminal Damage to property would have been misdemeanor charges. NOT citations.

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