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St. Pete assistant city attorney accused of DUI for third time

ST. PETERSBURG — For the third time, police have arrested the city's chief assistant attorney on a charge of drunken driving.

Mark Winn gave up his job title Tuesday afternoon, though he is still employed as an attorney by the city.

Winn, 60, was in his 2003 gray BMW about 1:40 a.m. Sunday at 32nd Avenue N and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N when a St. Petersburg officer pulled him over after seeing the car cross the double yellow line half a dozen times.

The officer, noting Winn's bloodshot eyes and watery, blank expression and the odor of alcohol, suspected the city official was drunk.

Winn was just under a mile from his home. He was unsteady on his feet and refused to take a sobriety test, according to an arrest affidavit.

He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of DUI and refusing the test; both misdemeanors. A traffic court hearing was set for Jan. 5.

Records show Winn bailed out of jail Sunday afternoon. He reported to work this week as usual.

His boss, City Attorney John Wolfe, said he was still gathering information and waiting on the final police report.

"There will be some action taken," Wolfe said. "I have to balance out his value to the city and the seriousness of the third arrest."

Wolfe said Winn voluntarily gave up his title as chief assistant attorney, which officials said he has held since 2012. Assistant city attorney Jacqueline Kovilaritch will fill the role on an interim basis, Wolfe said.

Winn was charged with his first DUI in February 2006 after crashing his car. The charge was reduced to reckless driving, but Winn's driver's license was suspended for a year.

His second DUI arrest came in November 2008. He pleaded no contest to that charge and his license was suspended then, too.

In all the arrests, he has refused to take a sobriety test.

Florida has a law that makes the third DUI conviction in 10 years a felony. The law does not apply in this case because Winn has not had that many DUI convictions.

Winn has been with the city for more than 25 years. He earns $151,239 a year.

"I've talked to him, and I've talked to the administration," Wolfe said. "I really don't want to say too much until I decide what I'm doing."

Contact Kameel Stanley at kstanley@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643. Follow @cornandpotatoes.

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