Antioch Mayor Thorpe arrested for DUI Saturday morning, mayor pro tem calls for his resignation

Occurred on 680 in Concord; apologizes in video, claims to have only had one drink; won’t answer questions; Ogorchock says Thorpe not “being a good example to our youth”

By Allen D. Payton

Embattled Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe, who is facing a possible recall, was arrested for driving under the influence at 1:27 AM this morning, Saturday, March 19, according to the Arrest Report / Unusual Incident – Press Release issued by CHP Public Information Officer Andrew Barclay. “It happened on 680 in Concord,” Barclay said. (See Arrest Report: Chp288B.THORPE)

The report reads, “On 3/19/22 at 1:15 am, CHP Contra Costa conducted an enforcement stop on a gray Volvo traveling on northbound I-680 near Monument Blvd.  The driver and only occupant of the Volvo was identified as Lamar Thorpe (4/6/1981).  The officers conducted a DUI investigation and Thorpe was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.  Thorpe was cited for violations 23152(a) VC and 23152(b) VC and released from custody at 3:35am.”

“As officers were investigating this incident there was an injury collision being investigated in the same area. These two incidents are completely unrelated.”

Top portion of Thorpe’s Arrest Report / Unusual Incident – Press Release on March 19, 2022. Source: CHP

Barbanica First to Confirm Incident With CHP

Earlier Saturday, in response to reports of Thorpe’s arrest and rumors that he had an underage female passenger with him and that he was in the Martinez Detention Facility, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica contacted the CHP for verification and to determine if he had to step into the role of acting mayor.

“I just spoke with ranking CHP personnel who confirmed that an arrest was made of Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe for DUI who was cite released,” Barbanica informed the Herald. “There was no crash. There was no 17-year-old passenger. It was a standard enforcement stop. CHP will be issuing a press release later.”

Asked when it occurred and where, and what the Blood Alcohol Content was, Barbanica said he did not have that information. Asked for information on any other passenger Barbanica said, “I have no knowledge of any other passengers. But I was told specifically by a CHP administrator that the rumor of a 17-year-old passenger being in the car was incorrect.”

Barbanica later shared, “According to a CHP spokesman, Thorpe was arrested for 23152 (a) Misdemeanor DUI Under the Influence and 23152 (b) Blood Alcohol Content over a .08 and pursuant to their policy was cite released.”

Thorpe Not Booked, But Cited and Released to a “Responsible Party”, Car Towed

Asked if he was allowed to drive home, Barbanica, a retired Pittsburg Police Watch Commander/Lieutenant, said, “CHP usually releases them into someone’s custody.”

Asked if Thorpe was allowed to drive himself home, since he was released two hours after his arrest, CHP’s Barclay said, “We would never allow an impaired individual to drive themself home. They are released to a responsible party to drive the individual home.”

Asked if Thorpe was still with the CHP Officer on the side of the road at the time of his release or from where he was released, where he was booked, if Thorpe was taken to county jail, and if his car was impounded and towed from the scene, Barclay responded, “There was no booking. People we cite and release are not booked into county jail. He was transported to our office in Martinez for the chemical test and was released from there. The vehicle was towed from the scene. To be clear, that is not an impound, but a storage.”

Barbanica then stated that “it was common practice for the CHP to take a DUI suspect to their office or a nearby agency to administer a chemical test, either breath or blood. It was common practice when I was working as a Watch Commander.”

Asked which test, Barclay added Thorpe was administered a breath test.

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe posted a video on his mayor’s Facebook page on Saturday apologizing for being arrested for DUI. Screenshot

Thorpe Apologizes in Facebook Video, Claims He Had Only One Drink

At about noon, today, Thorpe posted a video on his official mayor’s Facebook page about the arrest. While apparently reading from notes off-camera he said, “Good morning, Antioch. I wanted to come before you, today because I wanted to share some personal news with you. Last night, after having dinner with a friend, I was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol and cited for driving under the influence. For that I take full responsibility. Upon advice of counsel, I am limited in what I can share with you, but I felt it was important to be open and direct with you. Although I never felt inhibited by the drink I had with my dinner, I’m deeply sorry for the lapse in judgement, and I hope that you can forgive me. Being your mayor is one of the greatest honors of life and I am sorry if I have embarrassed you in any way. You have my full commitment that I will grow and learn from this moment and continue to work diligently on behalf of the residents of Antioch. Thank you for listening. Have a wonderful day.”

Most Questions for Thorpe Go Unanswered

The following questions were emailed to Thorpe at 10:32 AM Saturday, prior to the release of the arrest report, Barbanica’s information or the video: “Was it for alcohol or drugs? If it was for drinking what was your blood alcohol level? If for drugs, was it a prescription medication? If not, what was the drug or drugs you consumed? When and where did your arrest occur?

Did you remember telling the CHP Officer who arrested you that you’re the mayor of Antioch?

From and to where were you traveling at that time? Before getting in your car was anyone else with you who saw you inebriated and try to take your keys and prevent you from driving? Did anyone attempt to get you to use Uber or Lyft, instead?

Did you return home or go somewhere else following the arrest? How did you get there?

Will you be self-submitting to a DUI program and/or substance abuse counseling?

Do you have any comments you would like to provide in response? Would you like to make a public apology?”

At 11:42 AM Thorpe was asked about Barbanica calling on him to resign as mayor and if he had any response to it. Thorpe did not respond to either email, or to an attempt to reach him by phone as of 3:00 PM.

Barbanica Calls for Thorpe to Resign

In rspons to Thorpe’s arrest, Barbanica is calling on him to resign as mayor.

“What I feel, at this time is that we have serious business in the City of Antioch to deal with and we don’t need to be distracted by a DUI investigation of the mayor,” the mayor pro tem stated. “I do wish him the very best in dealing with this legal issue and anything else he’s dealing with, and I mean that. My hope is that he will step down and allow the rest of the council to focus on the issues of the city. I feel that he and everybody else has the right to due process. But I do believe he should deal with this issue separate from the city.”

Ogorchock Says Thorpe Not “Being a Good Example to Our Youth”

While not calling for Thorpe’s resignation, District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock said he’s not being a good example for the city’s youth.

“It’s unfortunate that Mayor Lamar Thorpe chose to drink and drive putting himself and others at risk. It shows a lapse in decision making, self-control and leadership,” she said. “He speaks to young people, wants them to follow him and participate in the city’s youth programs. An example is the Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program for youth that he’s introducing during the council meeting on Tuesday.”

“By his actions, I don’t believe Lamar is being a good example for our youth” Ogorchock added.

More Questions for Thorpe About Video Statements

Following review of Thorpe’s video, additional questions were emailed to him at 1:58 PM asking, “Were you really having dinner just prior to 1:27 AM when you were arrested? What time did you get to the restaurant? Did you really only have one drink in all that time that you were there? Is there anything you want to change about what you said in your video? Are there any other comments you want to add?”

He had not responded by publication time at 3:00 p.m.

Please check back later for any answers from Thorpe and any other updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Chp288B.THORPE Arrest Report 031922 top portion

Lamar Thorpe DUI symbol & CHP badge


Thorpe FB video on DUI 031922

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