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Councilman Perry gets probation; no jail time in sentencing for DWI hit-and-run case

District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry, left, appears outside County Court 6 with his attorney David Christian
Joey Palacios
District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry, left, appears outside County Court 6 with his attorney David Christian

District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry pleaded no contest in a Bexar County court on Friday to charges of driving while intoxicated and failure to exchange information relating to a Nov. 6 hit and run.

The judge allowed for deferred adjudication, a type of probation that will keep the charge off his record. He’ll serve no jail time but must complete 12 months of probation. That includes check-ins, a prohibition on drinking alcohol, a $500 fine plus court costs, a vehicle ignition interlock on his jeep for six months, random urinary analysis and 48 hours of community service.

After the court hearing, Perry told members of the press he takes full responsibility for his actions.

“I have done everything that I can to make this right. I'm following the process of taking a lot of advice and done a lot of things for this huge mistake … I think God that nobody was hurt,” Perry said.

On Nov. 6 , Perry was involved in a hit-and-run after consuming more than a dozen drinks at the Evil Olive bar and fleeing the scene to his nearby home, according to court documents.

The Northeast Side councilman admitted to being involved in a car crash shortly after the incident. San Antonio police released body cam footage of an officer finding Perry at his home with the vehicle still running and Perry appearing disoriented and intoxicated in his back yard.

Perry’s attorney, David Christian, told the judge that although court documents indicated he drank 14 alcoholic beverages the night of the crash, he was buying for other people and consumed only half that number. Christian said that was still too many to drive.

The case was heard in County Court 6, a specialty veterans court that deals with substance abuse issues. As a part of his probation, Judge Erica Dominguez said Perry would need to speak with other veterans with substance abuse issues who have appeared in her courtroom.

Prosecutors were seeking a tougher sentence and indicated that deferred adjudication was not appropriate. District Attorney Joe Gonzales said Perry was not given any special treatment due to his status as an elected official.

“Mr. Perry’s position on the City Council did not and does not entitle him to special deference," he said in a statement. "The District Attorney’s Office evaluates each case on its own facts and circumstances. Mr. Perry sought deferred adjudication which, if successfully completed, would not result in a conviction. Based on the fact that Mr. Perry caused an accident as a result of the DWI and then fled the scene, we believe that a plea offer of deferred adjudication probation was not appropriate. Instead, we sought a sentence of one year probation with a conviction. However, as always, we respect the judgment of the Court."

Perry has served on the San Antonio City Council since 2017 and won reelection in 2019 and 2021 without a runoff. Following the incident, Perry announced he would not run for a fourth and final term, leaving the seat open for a new councilperson.

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