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State rep arrested over weekend on drug charges

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 26, 2013: A first-term state representative was arrested this weekend in central Missouri for allegedly possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, state Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, D-Kansas City, was arrested at 3:05 p.m. Sunday in Boone County. According to LaFaver's statement, he was pulled over for failing to respond to Moniteau County charges that he had operated his vehicle with an expired license tag and without insurance.

During the stop by the highway patrol, LaFaver was cited for possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Soon after the news of LaFaver’s arrest was posted on PoliticMo, LaFaver issued a statement saying that he “made a serious mistake, I apologize for it, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my behavior.”  

“I want to stress that I was not operating under the influence,” LaFaver said. “I deeply regret the embarrassment I have caused my family and the people of the 25th District by this incident. I want to assure my constituents that I have received no special considerations, nor do I expect to be treated any differently than any other citizen in my situation.”

LaFaver was easily elected last year to represent a heavily Democratic Kansas City-based district. After facing no opposition in the Democratic primary, LaFaver upended Republican Sally Miller in November by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin.

The 33-year-old had been serving as chairman of the Missouri House Democratic Victory Committee, which provides additional resources to Democratic hopefuls to the Missouri House.

In a statement released Monday morning, LaFaver said he was stepping aside from that post. He said “the goal of electing Democrats to the House is too important to the middle class men and women of Missouri for my personal embarrassment to become a distraction.”

“I have therefore asked the Minority Leader to let me step down from the chairmanship,” he added.

Republicans have called on LaFaver to resign.

“Missouri Republicans are calling on Democrat Rep. LaFaver to walk the walk and take genuine responsibility by resigning from the Missouri House of Representatives. LaFaver has broken trust with the people by behaving with direct and open disrespect for the law and courts,” said Matt Wills, spokesman for the Missouri Republican Party.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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