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Clayton Perry returns to San Antonio City Council, promising 'this never happens again'

Joey Palacios
District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry speaks with a staffer while returning to the city council after a leave of absence. Perry had left for less than two months following an alleged hit-and-run that resulted in two charges including driving-while-intoxicated.

District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry returned to his city council seat on Thursday, and he expressed appreciation and asked for forgiveness.

He walked into the council chambers before proceedings began and chatted with onlookers.

This followed a leave of absence for an alleged hit-and-run incident in November and a driving while intoxicated charge.

When the council meeting began, Perry read a statement thanking the council for enabling him to take time off after the incident. He also expressed relief that "the other people involved weren't physically harmed."

He thanked Michael Gallagher, who had been appointed to fill Perry's seat while he was away.

Perry also said that he was following "all the appropriate measures as recommended by medical experts."

He added: "I am 100% devoted to ensuring this never happens again and to regaining your confidence."

Police body camera video showed the North Side conservative councilman on the ground in his backyard, disheveled and disoriented.

His black Jeep was in front of his home with the motor running and the driver's side door open. The San Antonio Police Department was criticized in the wake of the incident for not arresting Perry.

He has been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Media coverage has revealed he was served 14 drinks within four hours.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a statement on Wednesday that he spoke to Perry, and his stance remains that if the allegations are true, Perry should resign. But the city council can’t force a removal without a conviction.

After the council meeting, TPR asked Perry if he planned to run for re-election. He declined to answer. He also declined to answer questions from the press about his capacity to govern while facing criminal charges and about why he decided to return to his seat.

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Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules