Fortuna City Manager Mark Wheetley was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence yesterday evening, just about 18 months after a DUI arrest derailed his candidacy for a seat on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Cy May said an officer pulled Wheetley over shortly after 7 p.m. yesterday after spotting him speeding on State Route 255 near Navy Base Road. In addition to allegedly doing about 70 miles an hour in a 55 zone, May said the registration tags on Wheetley’s 2013 Chrysler Town and Country minivan were expired.
“After we stopped him and contacted him, the officer observed Mr. Wheetley displaying signs and symptoms of intoxication,” May said, adding that the officer then gave Wheetley a field sobriety test, which he failed.
Wheetley was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol level above 0.08 and violating the terms of his probation.
The agenda for Fortuna's Monday city council meeting was updated just before noon today to include a closed session public employee discipline item that lists the city manager.
In January of 2016, while still a sitting member of the Arcata City Council and mounting a promising candidacy to replace Mark Lovelace on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, Wheetley was pulled over and arrested
in virtually the same location on State Route 255 and charged with DUI. Weeks later, Wheetley bowed out
of the supervisors race, citing “personal and professional obligations.” He ultimately pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and was sentenced to three years probation.
Earlier this year, he stepped down from his seat on the Arcata City Council in order to accept a job
as Fortuna’s city manager. Journal
attempts to contact Wheetley for this story were not immediately successful.