Forby, Phelps in Car with DUI Driver
By WestKyStar Staff
BENTON, IL - Two members of the Illinois Legislature were in a car that was pulled over Friday morning, and the driver was charged with DUI.
Illinois State Police stopped 24-year old Mitchell J. Schaben on IL Highway 37 at Marcum Branch Road north of Benton because he was speeding. He agreed to take a breathalyzer test, and was then arrested for DUI, and taken to Franklin County Jail.
Three passengers were in the car, including State Sen. Gary Forby and State Rep. Brandon Phelps. The other passenger was not identified. They had been at Rend Lake Resort for dinner and meetings with out-of-town guests to the Du Quoin State Fair. Schaben is a field organizer for Forby's campaign.
Sen. Phelps told The Southern, "I didn't think (Schaben) was impaired, and know Mitch didn't think so, or he wouldn't have driven. He's a great guy." Forby could not be reached by the newspaper for comment.
Schaben released a statement Friday afternoon, saying that he exercised poor judgement by getting behind the wheel, and that his passengers didn't know he had consumed several alcoholic beverages. He apologized to Sen. Forby and the people of the 59th Legislative District for any distraction the incident might cause.
Phelps posted Schaben's bail money and he was released from custody. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 25.