Mayhem on Main Street

By Dirk Hanson 03/25/11
Randolph Gurley. Photo via scnow

We would be remiss if we didn’t check in frequently at one of our favorite alcohol-free watering holes, the infamous Drunk Politician Blog. Like a bulldog, the DPB faithfully catalogs the wine-soaked, pill-swilling, meth-induced misadventures of our nation’s lawmakers. And while there's plenty of shenanigans going on all over the country, the past few months have been particularly cruel for America's small town mayors, with at least half a dozen arrested or awaiting indictment for drug and alcohol related crimes. Frankie Arnold, the mayor of Newkirk, Oklahoma, fell afoul of the law for using improper prescriptions for Hydrocodone obtained from various docs and online. Robert Dean Smith, mayor of Eufaula, Oklahoma, landed back in jail -- twice -- for probation violations stemming from a 2008 DUI charge, to which he pled guilty. Randolph Gurley, mayor pro-tem of tiny Dillon, South Carolina (pictured here), was charged with distribution of a controlled substance near a school, after he allegedly sold cocaine to an undercover agent. And just this month, police in the town of Colombus, Texas (population 2,000), uncovered an ongoing plot by Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Police Chief Angelo Vega and nine other accomplices to sell a huge cache of weapons to drug cartels in Puerto Palomas, a border town near Juarez.  What's next, a drug-spurred murder at the perfect Disneyland theme town "Celebration"? Oh yes. Old news. Maybe it really is safer in New York.

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]