Kingsburg City councilmember issues apology following DUI arrest

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FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KGPE) – Kingsburg City Councilmember Jewel Hurtado is apologizing after she was arrested on June 21st.

According to the California Highway Patrol report, an officer pulled Hurtado over on suspicion of driving under the influence around 2 a.m. on Shaw Avenue near Highway 41 in Fresno.

The report says she admitted she had a drink and took a breathalyzer test. The officer arrested Hurtado on a misdemeanor DUI charge and she was cited, then released.

A statement from Hurtado reads in part, “I’m taking responsibility for my actions and waiting for my day in front of a judge. I trust that they will make the right decision. For those that have expressed their concern, trust that with the support of my family and friends I am working to be better and learn from this experience.”

At 22-years-old, Hurtado has made a name for herself as an advocate of the LGBTQ+ community. In June, she organized the city’s first pride celebration.

“This is about being out, open and proud if you can be if it’s safe for you to be,” Hurtado said during an interview at the event.  

But her efforts have received mixed reviews from some Kingsburg residents.  Her proposal to proclaim June pride month and fly the pride flag over city hall failed.

A recall effort for Hurtado is now underway.

Fresno County Registrar of Voters James Kus says the proponents of the recall have until July 12th to submit a draft petition. Then they will need to get 20% of her district 1 voters to sign.

“Most of those don’t actually get to a point where they get on the ballot,” explained Kus.  “Most fail when they get to the petition process, and they are out there collecting signatures because 20% isn’t a lot, but it’s a fair amount you have to collect.”

Kus says if they are successful, the election could happen early next year.

Hurtado says she will be donating her monthly city stipend for the remainder of her term to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

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