SCDOT Secretary Robert St. Onge Jr. Resigns After DUI

8:05 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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Robert St. Onge Jr. (Image: Lexington County Detention Center)

Lexington County, SC (WLTX) - The secretary of the South Carolina Department of Transportation has resigned following his arrest on a charge of DUI.

Robert St. Onge Jr. submitted his resignation to Governor Nikki Haley's office Friday.

"With heartfelt regret, I am resigning my position as Secretary of Transportation effective today due to personal reasons," St. Onge wrote in his letter. "I would like to thank you for the support you have shown me as we have worked together to improve South Carolina's transportation system."

Lexington County deputies pulled over St. Onge, 66, around 8 a.m. Friday on Interstate 20 near Bush River Road after they noticed him driving erratically. State troopers then were called to the scene to assist with the stop.

According to the highway patrol, St. Onge failed a field sobriety test. He was then taken to the Lexington County Detention Center where troopers say he had a blood alcohol content of .20 when tested.

He was charged and booked, and was later released on a personal recognizance bond.

"General St. Onge is a good man with a lifetime of service to his country, and more recently, our state," said Haley spokesman Doug Mayer in a statement. "That said, we have a no tolerance policy for our state agency directors, and so General St. Onge has resigned as Secretary of Transportation. The governor thanks him for his work fixing the serious fiscal issues he inherited at the Department of Transportation - the state is better off because of his service."

Christy Hall , the Deputy Secretary of Finance and Procurement of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, will serve as acting secretary. Hall has been with the agency for over 20 years.

Governor Haley's office says she plans to find a permanent appointee for Senate confirmation this session.

St. Onge had been the leader for the transportation agency since February of 2011. Previously, he'd served 34 years in the United States Army, retiring as a major general in 2003.

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