Days before his latest DWI arrest Brossett said in interview: It won’t happen ever again

FOX 8 interviewed Brossett as part of his candidacy for a citywide position
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A few days before District “D” New Orleans City Councilman Jared Brossett was arrested again on DWI charges he told FOX 8 that his past issues would not be repeated.

Brossett was interviewed by FOX 8′s Sabrina Wilson as part of a story on his candidacy for the City Council-at-Large Division 2 seat. The election is on November 13. During that interview, Brossett was asked if he thought voters would hold against him his 2020 DWI arrest and vehicle accident while driving a city SUV.

“I would hope not. I did what I had to do, I made a mistake. I did not run from it, I’m human, I addressed it, I’m a stronger man today then I’ve ever been before. I voluntarily went to a six-week intensive counseling and mental health addiction behavioral health program,” said Brossett.

And Brossett spoke eagerly about steps he had taken including placing himself into frequent group therapy and also counseling others with substance abuse issues. “Not only that, after I completed my program in July of last year I voluntarily committed myself for a weekly, weekly to group therapy sessions where I got to counsel many men and women from all backgrounds of life who had substance abuse and addiction problems and I did that going on for now over a year and that has been one of the most humbling experiences in my life, Sabrina, and I am most grateful that I could you know bring somebody else along the way because nobody has to go through substance abuse or addiction alone,” said Brossett.

Brossett went on to say his past mistakes would never be repeated.

“We have many mental health, substance abuse issues throughout our city. We saw that through the pandemic. I also did a three-month diversion program in addition to community service with our seniors and so I’m glad that it’s behind me and it won’t happen ever again,” said Brossett.

Brossett was arrested again early on Monday (Oct. 18), and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center shortly after 5 a.m., under suspicion of DWI, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

According to New Orleans Police, officers found Brossett unresponsive behind the wheel of his Lexus with the engine running in the 3100 block of Elysian Fields around 2:30 Monday morning. Police say Brossett was unresponsive at first, but officers were able to wake him. When they spoke to him, they say a strong odor of alcohol was detected.

Robert Collins, Ph.D., is a Dillard University political analyst.

“Just the entire circumstances, the police officers finding him asleep in his own vehicle. There are all sorts of issues with judgment,” said Collins.

He said voters can be forgiving if a politician does not repeat big mistakes but said their willingness to forgive is not without limits.

“At some point in time you know the patience of the voters wears thin and people are going to start saying, oh come on, you promised that this was never going to happen again, you actually promised and so I think that’s going to be his challenge moving forward is that he apologized and he promised that it was never going to happen again and now it’s happened again,” said Collins.

And campaign finance reports released late last week for the council-at-large race showed that Brossett was trailing the other two major candidates, District “C” Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer and former state senator J.P. Morrell. Green Party Candidate Bart Everson is also in the race.

“Clearly, he’s very, very far behind Morrell and Palmer in his fundraising,” said Collins.

According to his campaign report, Brossett had contributions of $25,700 for the period covering early July to October 4.

“Certainly, he was not getting any significant support from the fundraising class of people who in the city of New Orleans where his two opponents were,” said Collins.

After Brossett’s arrest current City Councilmembers-at-Large Helena Moreno and Donna Glapion issued the following statement:

“This is overall a very sad situation. We hope that our friend and colleague takes the necessary steps to make himself well. Alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such. The public should be reassured that the Council will be moving forward with its work without delay, including moving forward as planned with the budget schedule and will meet all budget timelines outlined by law.”

District “E” Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen said in a statement to FOX 8:

“I will keep Councilmember Brossett in my prayers and I encourage him to get help”.

And Councilman Jay Banks who represents District “B” on the council said, “I am praying for Jared and alcoholism is a disease and I pray Jared seeks the help he apparently desperately needs.”

A spokeswoman for Councilwoman Palmer, who in an unusual move recently endorsed Brossett in the council-at-large race and Brossett endorsed her in a move to hurt Morrell’s chances in the race, said Palmer was gathering all the facts in connection with Brossett’s latest arrest and would have a statement later.

Brossett’s campaign consultant Greg Buisson said they were also gathering facts and information and Buisson said because of that he could not say if Brossett would leave the council-at-large race.

Brossett did respond to calls and text messages from FOX 8.

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