That was the quote from Speaker of the House Pat Murphy just one week ago. Murphy’s statement followed the news that Rep. Burt had knowingly used a false address to save tens of thousands of dollars on tuition for his children.
Last night on the 10 o’clock news, Dave Price of WHO TV 13 showed exclusive footage of Rep. Burt’s drunk driving arrest during the early morning hours of February 11th. The footage shows Burt saying, “I better show you this, I’m a representative.” He also said, “I’m also a firefighter. Is there professional courtesy?” Burt also claimed that he couldn’t be arrested because he is a state representative.
Those were not the only new details we learned in the video. Burt also told the arresting officer that he was drinking with Governor Chet Culver. Additionally, the three people that Burt contacted after being arrested were Speaker of the House Pat Murphy, Iowa Department of Public Safety Communications Director Courtney Greene, and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gene Meyer.
One has to wonder how in the world Speaker Murphy can say that Rep. Burt has been a very good legislator in his first term as a representative when he has been arrested for drunk driving and investigated for defrauding his kids’ school of $37,000.00? Is Speaker Murphy somehow implying that, since Rep. Burt supported the union agenda, he is a good legislator despite all of his legal problems?
The common theme in all of Rep. Burt’s legal issues is that he believes he deserves special treatment because of who he is and the positions he holds. The video of his arrest shows Rep. Burt asking for special treatment numerous times. When those attempts fail, he then begins to drop names, which can be construed as another way to ask for leniency.
The following are his attempts for leniency the night he was arrested.
1. “I better show you this, I’m a Representative”
2. “Do you want to do this?”
3. “I’m also a firefighter, is there any professional courtesy?”
4. “I actually cannot be under arrest” because he’s a state representative.
5. When asked how much he drank, Rep. Burt said, “It’s not so much what I’ve been drinking, but who I’ve been drinking with.” Rep. Burt then whispered, “The Governor.”
6. At the Ankeny jail, Rep. Burt tells officers that he can call three people to get him out, Speaker of the House Pat Murphy, Iowa Department of Public Safety Communications Director Courtney Greene and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gene Meyer.
Rep. Burt’s behavior the night of his arrest is similar to the behavior that State Auditor Dave Vaudt cited in his investigation of Rep. Burt shorting the Malcolm Price Laboratory School $37,000.00 in tuition. Even though Rep. Burt didn’t live within the school zone of the Price Laboratory School, he falsified documents saying that he did.
Rep. Burt confronted two Price Lab school officials at a legislative breakfast after being investigated. During that meeting, Rep. Burt told UNI President Benjamin Allen and school Principal J.D. Cryer that he was one of the parents being investigated for falsifying their address. It is unknown whether or not Rep. Burt approached President Allen or Principal Cryer for assistance with the investigation.
With the details of Rep. Burt’s arrest now known, will Speaker Murphy continue to back the first term legislator? If asking for political favors and defrauding a state funded school of thousands of dollars isn’t grounds for removal from office, what is?
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