Bill Clinton's Brother Arrested

Monday, February 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former President Clinton's half brother was arrested for investigation of drunken driving after he was spotted driving erratically through a local beach town, police said.

The arrest comes less than a month after the former president pardoned his younger brother, Roger, 44, for a drug offense from 1985.

Clinton was arrested early Saturday in downtown Hermosa Beach, 18 miles south of Los Angeles, Officer Paul Wolcott said. An unidentified male passenger was not arrested, Wolcott said.

An officer saw Clinton's sport utility vehicle hit a curb while making a right-hand turn, stop beyond the limit at two stop signs and straddle the center dividing line, Wolcott said.

After several blocks, the officer stopped Clinton and smelled alcohol on his breath, Wolcott said.

Clinton failed a balance and coordination test and was taken to the city jail for a breath test. Police said his blood-alcohol level met or exceeded .08 percent, the legal limit. They did not immediately release a specific figure.

Wolcott said Clinton did not receive any special treatment.

``It was very standard procedure. He was treated as anyone would be treated. He was cooperative,'' Wolcott said.

Clinton said he had been drinking at a local bar, according to police.

Clinton, who lives in nearby Torrance, was released later Saturday. He was not required to post bail.

``He had a local address, there was no reason for us to believe he won't show up in court. It was a misdemeanor,'' Wolcott said.

He was scheduled for arraignment in Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 2.

A message left for Clinton at his home was not returned. Julia Payne, spokeswoman for the former president, declined to comment on the arrest.

Clinton served more than a year in prison after pleading guilty in 1985 to a charge of conspiracy to distribute a gram of cocaine.

In 1998, a jury ordered Clinton to pay a then-neighbor in Redondo Beach $1,258.10 for medical bills, one week's lost wages and unspecified damages after Clinton's dog attacked the other man's dog.

In his 1995 book, ``Growing Up Clinton,'' Roger Clinton recounted his troubled life, including the physical abuse that he, his brother and late mother suffered at the hands of their alcoholic father, as well as his own addictions to alcohol and cocaine.

``I have a walk-in closet full of skeletons,'' Clinton said during an appearance in Washington, D.C., to promote the book.