Tony La Russa of Chicago White Sox solves DUI, pleads for a lower fee

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to solve the drunk driving charges that came from his arrest nearly 10 months ago on a Phoenix subway highway.

The 76-year-old pleaded guilty to reckless driving on Monday at the Maricopa County Court of Justice. La Russa was sentenced to one day of house arrest and fined nearly $ 1,400, and he must serve 20 hours of community service.

La Russa was arrested on February 24, but the charges were filed on October 28 – a day before he was hired by Chicago.

In a telephone conference on Monday, La Russa said: “I will never forget the anguish I felt for nine months.

“I brought this upon myself. I know. I feel deep remorse and regret for what I have done. It is impossible to explain how daily and deeply this reaches you and has bothered me for a long time. Obviously, I have shown a bad judgment in that night. in February. I’m grateful to the white Sox for staying with me. “

He said he was angry with himself and “his goal is to prove it”.

“Before, [it] I was proving myself on the field. Now I have to prove myself off the field, “he said.

Lawrence Kazan, La Russa’s lawyer, said his client was counseled with alcohol after his arrest.

“This shows that Mr La Russa takes this issue very seriously and is also indicative of the remorse he feels for being involved in this issue,” Kazan said.

La Russa said she had completed a 20-hour alcohol counseling course.

“I know I don’t have a drinking problem. As I know, I made a serious mistake in February. And where I am now is to prove that I don’t have a drinking problem and to prove it every day off the field. What “It’s painfully clear to me that if I drink something, I won’t drive. There is always an alternative,” he said.

Authorities say La Russa, who won a World Series with Oakland and two more with St. Louis. Louis, he blew a tire on the gray Lexus he was driving. He crashed into the curb, leaving the vehicle to smoke. Tests performed on the night of his arrest showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.095 – above the legal limit of 0.08.

La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida in 2007, after police found him asleep inside his sports utility vehicle driving at a stop and smelling of alcohol.

La Russa was hired by Chicago in a surprise move after Rick Renteria was let go in what the team said was a mutual decision. La Russa last succeeded in 2011, with St. Louis.

“With today’s announcement, Tony La Russa has taken responsibility and been held accountable for his misconduct and the questionable choices he made last February. The White Sox understand the anger and concern expressed by some about to hire Tony in these conditions, “the team said in a statement Monday.

“Tony has expressed his remorse and understands that he has brought this upon himself. We understand that people make mistakes and make poor judgments in life. In this case, Tony is lucky that his decisions that night did not hurt himself. or anyone else.We also believe that people deserve the opportunity, at all times in their lives, to improve.

“Tony knows there’s no safety net under him. It can’t be a third shot. Tony has a proud and productive history with White Sox and Major League Baseball, which is why we’re with him. He’s done an exceptional job of “In the past, he has always shown the ability to inspire his players and bring his teams to a championship level. We are confident that Tony will improve our team as he improves himself.”

Asked if they would provide LaRussa with a designated driver or a cabin / uber expense account, a White Sox spokesman told Michele Steele of ESPN: “I had discussions with Tony about how best to provide support. and knows that the team is there to help, including with transportation options if needed. “

Jesse Rogers of ESPN contributed to this report.