Chico Mayor Scott Gruendl is speaking out for the first time about his recent traffic ticket for driving more than 100 mph.
Gruendl said he takes full responsibility for driving too fast, and will accept any penalty accordingly.
“There’s absolutely no excuse for why I was driving so fast,” said Gruendl.
“There’s absolutely no excuse for why I was driving so fast.” - Mayor
On the evening of Saturday, Feb. 8, Gruendl was pulled over for speeding. He was driving northbound on Highway 99, coming into Chico between Southgate Avenue and Estates Drive. According to the citation, Officer Price's radar clocked Gruendl's Volkswagen Jetta moving in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The mayor was returning from the town of Murphys in Calaveras County, about a three hour drive from Chico. He had just tended to the death of his sister when he was ticketed.
“I got passed by a car that was going fast, and I just mindlessly followed it,” said Gruendl. “I could see the CHP truck, it was an SUV, make a U-turn, we both slowed down and I was the one who was pulled over and not the other car.”
The mayor said he did not disclose to the officer his role with the city, and does not expect any special consideration.
Adriana Warner of the Chico CHP talked about the dangers of driving 100 mph.
”When that person crashes we're going to see injuries that are fatal probably,” said Warner.
Warner said triple digit speeds are too common and too dangerous, especially at night when Gruendl was ticketed.
”It's also unsafe for our officers,” said Warner. “Not only is the violator driving in excess of 100 miles per hour, but we have to drive in excess of 100 miles per hour to stop the driver.”
Gruendl said he’s received many media inquires about the ticket, including one from Fox News in New York. But it's not the kind of attention any elected official would want.
“The bottom line is, whole thing was completely avoidable had I not broken the law.”
Gruendl faces a fine of up to $500 and a 30-day suspension of his license when he appears in Superior Court on March 27.