UPDATED: Runner aide faces drunk driving charges

Drew Mercy

Drew Mercy

LANCASTER – A senior advisor to former state senator and current Board of Equalization member George Runner is scheduled to be arraigned on drunk driving charges this week.

Andrew “Drew” Mercy is charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more, court records show.

The charges stem from an arrest, which occurred on Friday, April 12, when Mercy’s vehicle was stopped near Avenue I and Redwood Avenue in Lancaster. Mercy apparently failed a sobriety test, and he was arrested on suspicion of DUI around 10:45 p.m. and booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station with bail set at $5,000, according to jail records.

Drunk driving charges against Mercy were filed on May 15.

The 33-year-old Lancaster resident is an active member of the Antelope Valley community. Mercy sits on the City of Lancaster’s Architectural and Design Commission, he is the president of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, and he is the Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, 36th Assembly District Central Committee.

Mercy has also worked as an advisor to several state legislators, including the late Senator William J. “Pete” Knight and George and Sharon Runner, the first husband and wife in California history to have served concurrently in the Legislature.

Speaking by telephone Wednesday morning, Mercy said he deeply regrets his “very bad decision,” he is taking full responsibility for his actions, and he expects to face the appropriate consequences.

“I don’t believe in making excuses at all. I did the wrong thing,” Mercy said.

He said on the night of April 12, he was having dinner with his wife and some friends, when he made the “poor decision” to drive home, after having a few drinks.

“When it occurred, I spoke about it immediately with my employers and with community organizations that I’m a part of and hold leadership positions in to not only take responsibility, but to be honest with the people I work with and the people that I volunteer with in the community,” Mercy said.

Mercy currently serves as George Runner’s Senior Advisor for Taxpayer Advocacy at the California State Board of Equalization, District 2.

In a prepared statement released Wednesday, Runner said the incident was “not characteristic of Drew.”

“Drew contacted me immediately after the incident occurred. He offered his resignation. After consideration, I did not accept his resignation,” Runner said.

“Drew has worked for both me and Sharon over the past 16 years and the behavior that led to this incident is not characteristic of Drew. I am very disappointed and personally know that Drew is very remorseful about this. He is fully aware of the consequences of his actions,” George Runner’s statement continues.

Mercy said he is hoping that his incident would discourage others from making the same mistake.

“I’ve learned it the hard way, I hope other people don’t have to…” Mercy said. “[Alcohol] inhibits judgment, and it’s something that people have to be very careful with.”

Mercy will be arraigned on the charges at 8:30 a.m. Thursday (June 13) at the Antelope Valley courthouse.

UPDATED 6/13/13: Drew Mercy pleaded NOT GUILTY to the charges at his arraignment on June 13, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Mercy’s next court date is a pretrial hearing set for Thursday, July 18, at the Antelope Valley courthouse in Department A06, Robison said.

  75 comments for “UPDATED: Runner aide faces drunk driving charges

  1. Mommy
    June 20, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Mr Runner says its not characteristic of Drew to drink?? HELLO??!!?? Yes he does! So does his wife! SMH RME!!! I wonder how many other times he’s driven drunk & got lucky & didn’t hit anyone or kill them. And is this guy & his wife totally plastic looking or WHAT???

  2. Green is a cover-up
    June 15, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I am sure Marvin [removed] Crist most likely used all his political pull to have this arrest buried until now. Seeing he is the Sheriff Booster President and all. The RAT has been the go-to man for the insiders at city hall to give slack and reduced charges. That is what the title buys you and Drew knows it.

  3. sikntired
    June 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    What exactly is it that we are paying George Runner for these days and why does he need a senior or junior advisor to do it? Wasting tax payer money.

    • Derp
      June 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Do you even Google, bro? He’s with the State Board of Equalization and they are taxpayers advocates. The opposite of what you said they do.

      • sikntired
        June 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

        Google,what’s that bro?Like I said,what do he do?

  4. Chuck Slay
    June 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I’ll admit it. Going back to my college days and many years thereafter I might well have been given a legitimate DUI. Not proud of it. Who among the “stone throwers” above have not gotten behind the wheel in an “iffy” situation. Not justifying by any means. Just saying that most people I know could’ve been arrested for DUI at one time or another during their lives. BTW, a DUI can be two beers. Think about it those of you without sin.

    • I don't get it....
      June 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Your post made absolutely no sense whatsoever. A DUI CANNOT be two beers unless someone is 4’3″ and weighs 90 pounds. For the average size man to get to .08, it would take just shy of a six pack to get there. You CAN however, get a wet reckless if you have have an accident and you’ve had around two beers. It will be interesting to find out in July what his blood alcohol level was. What is it the Bible says, “judge not so that you will not be judged BECAUSE the measure you use will be the measure used against you.” Sorry, no pass for Mr. Mercy.

      • Derp
        June 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

        Well, According to the DMV chart, 3 drinks in two hours is a “likely DUI”
        You have to be super careful and responsible to keep your nose clean and stay safe.

        • Adam Chant
          June 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

          The DMV Chart is only for reference and each person metabolizes alcohol at a different rate. You should probably read up on Alcohol Metabolism or you might just end up with a DUI yourself. For example if you have a high fat diet (or just consume a high fat meal with alcohol) it will actually make it take longer to metabolize the alcohol in your system.
          The reason you feel more ‘buzzed’ when you drink on an empty stomach is because your body can metabolize the alcohol faster.. all that consuming food does is slow down the process. (Driving right after that could be a real big mistake)
          I’d suspect that a lot of the ‘DUI stories’ about, “I only had two drinks during dinner.” is more accurate than most people think..
          A portable breathalyzer is around $40.. play with one some time and you might just be amazed..
          I’m not in any way arguing “impairment” at a BAC level 0.08 just pointing out that it’s a lot more likely of someone to have a BAC or 0.08 than most people think.
          Now the NTSB recommends dropping that to a BAC level of 0.05..
          If you drink.. don’t drive..

          • William
            June 14, 2013 at 10:35 am

            I worked in an ER and people who came in visibly drunk always always said they had ‘2 beers’ never 3 or more. It seems to be the standard line.

      • Evengstarr
        June 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm

        You can not get behind the wheel at all. its th law 1 beer or 10 beers you can not drink and drive.

        • Karemtilt@Gmail
          July 31, 2013 at 1:06 am

          Right on

    • Karemtilt@Gmail
      July 31, 2013 at 1:25 am

      When u drive simply don’t drink, then there is no chance of arrest. Shows very poor judgement on his part, his wife and those who allowed him to get behind the wheel impaired

  5. Johnathon Ervin
    June 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Luckily, he wasn’t involved in a car accident. This is probably hard on him and his family being put on public display like this. Let’s keep that in mind. I’ve had some times where I was thrust in the media and it was difficult for my entire household. Drew isn’t a friend of mine, but I’m not going to jump on him because I think our politics should be less hateful. Let’s let it play out in the court system.

  6. I don't get it....
    June 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t get it. Mr. Mercy is very sorry, alcohol impairs people, he offers his resignation, he says he understands the consequences and he’s going to take them but….he says he’s not guilty? And people wonder why the Republic Party in the Antelope Valley is falling apart? “I didn’t do it, but I’m very sorry.” I expected no less.

    • Yo Mama
      June 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Don’t forget, “I made a poor decision.”

      He shoulda burnt a hoot! No harm in that!!

  7. Lori
    June 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    If he feels so bad about it, and is so sorry, why didn’t he plead guilty?

    • I don't get it....
      June 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      I know, right??

    • June 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      How can you not get it? NOBODY in their right mind pleads guilty right off the bat. That’s the way it works. It doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily fighting the charges.

      • Nancy P
        June 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        That’s like saying people who plead guilty are not really necessarily guilty. They are just saying that because they don’t want to go through a length trial…. Or like Jodi Arias admitting to the murder then not expecting to be sentenced for the crime she just admitted to.

        • June 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

          Nope. It’s like saying that in most cases, the defendant and his attorney need more time to discuss a plea agreement with the prosecutor. It’s no big deal, and it happens all the time. And, people are free to plead guilty if they don’t want to go through a trial. It’s their right.

      • Guilty As Charged (maybe...)
        June 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        People do indeed plead guilty right off the bat, especially if they want a more lenient sentence. Now that he’s pled not guilty, it will be interesting to find out just how drunk he was, where he was going to, and where he was coming from. Anybody remember Roy Ashburn?

        • June 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

          You’ll never know the answers to those questions if he comes back in a month and changes his plea to guilty, which a lot of people do.

          • You can ask....
            June 13, 2013 at 11:54 pm

            Now THAT could happen. It at least gives them time to see which way the wind is blowing. Forget about right and wrong. Political considerations are everything. He’s going to be pretty much shot as an attack dog now. Runner’s going to have to hire someone else.

  8. dumbandblind
    June 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Great job LASD!

  9. youareright
    June 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    How embarrassing to the AV Board of Trade. The Chairman can’t be responsible enough to get a designated driver. Totally lessens the AVBOT’s ability to influence….sober people at least. As the bible quoting folks at Lancaster Baptist like to say, pride goes before a fall. Maybe George Runner Can place him on administrative leave until Mr. Mercy has a chance to go through rehab.
    He will be a better man for it.

  10. cocheesie
    June 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    well no wonder runner has been representing us so poorly! his advoisor has been drunk!

  11. Nancy P
    June 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Someone used to make the comment that we are all just one bad decision away from being arrested…or something like that.

    • June 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      @Nancy P… “We’re all one bad decision away from having a criminal record.” I commend Mr. Mercy for being transparent to the community as a civic leader, and also to former Senator George Runner for not accepting his resignation. We ALL make mistakes. Redemption is the key word and an excellent example set forth by Mr. Mercy.

      • Nancy P
        June 13, 2013 at 8:40 am

        It was public record, so being transparent isn’t really in question.
        A “smart man” always shows remorse AFTER he has been caught doing something illegal. The only excellent example set here, was the arresting officers who did not let his “position” in Lancaster politics, affect whether they arrested him.
        I do agree that this event should not ruin his career. That said, I hope we don’t see him in the news again as a repeat offender killing someone in a car accident. Followed by all the comment about why he still had a license, etc.
        We all make mistakes.

  12. david g
    June 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm


  13. boscoe
    June 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I don’t know this guy but it’s nice to see that he isn’t hiding behind anyone or making any claims about dep’s or chippies lying. Nice to see someone taking responsibility for his own actions. No matter this guy’s past, his admitting his screw up and accepting the responsibility and moving forward is better than most…

    • :(
      June 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      That’s funny Boscoe. If it was a poor black man, or Hispanic, Drew and the Antelope Valley Republicans, AVRA would be holding them up as an example of their lawlessness and be working up fear in the community over them bad bad men. Give me a break!

      • youareright
        June 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        It would be outrageous except that Mr. Mercy himself went after a black candidate for tax issues. He claimed it proved she couldn’t govern. If he is a real stand up guy, he’ll prove to everyone that someone with a DUI should have no responsible position of public trust. He will lead the way. What will probably happen is, he’ll just wait things out until things blow over. No more public statements.

      • :(
        June 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        The fact that you don’t want to hear it makes in no less true. Drew has made his bed. Let him sleep in it!

        • boscoe
          June 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

          The fact is that you sing the same O same O each and every time. No one said anything about this guy being a stand up guy…what was said was it was nice to see someone actually stand up for this actions. Now, in your mind, which I’m sure is stranded somewhere between left and liberal staff infected, it all seems like a racial conspiracy and cover-up. You ever stop and wonder why no pays the left any attention anymore? People like you maybe? This guy should do the right thing and resign and pay his debt. If he is such a turd like a few in here suggest, maybe he should be fired because a position of leadership does not need someone who can’t decide to drink or not drink and drive a vehicle…. Your turn genius.

        • Guilty As Charged (maybe...)
          June 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

          Sorry Boscoe. Ain’t gonna happen. He will only resign of pressured. Now that he’s pled not guilty, we can forget about the “stand up guy taking responsibility” stuff.

        • :(
          June 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

          Hahaha no one pays attention to the left any more? Except those who voted the “left” into the white house less than a year ago? You don’t know anything about my politics. Left or right. As far as how we treat those who AREN’T well connected and of color, all one has to do is read the remarks concerning “those” people when “they” get busted! Not exactly something the “left” made up.
          Funny how YOU bring up cover-up and racial conspiracy. Things I never said. Feeling guilty? And as G as C points out, he pleaded NOT Guilty. So much for this “stand up for his actions” dude.
          Your turn genius.

          • boscoe
            June 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

            Again.. “That’s funny Boscoe. If it was a poor black man, or Hispanic, Drew and the Antelope Valley Republicans” your words, not mine. Read your own rants will ya, you’re starting to bore me here genius.

          • :(
            June 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm

            And you forgot the end “AVRA would be holding them up as an example of their lawlessness and be working up fear in the community over them bad bad men.”

            Not quite the same as “racial conspiracy and cover-up.”
            “Read your own rants will ya, you’re starting to bore me here genius.”

            Compared to you I am a genius.

          • boscoe
            June 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

            Yawn… lmfao

          • :(
            June 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

            Boscoe I see your words have the same effect on you as others. Boring and incorrect.

            Why you bring your fat ass up is beyond me.

  14. eo2
    June 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Wow what a bizarre concept, he was stopped for probable cause? Without shaking down citizens by the thousand?

  15. sjgranai
    June 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    [removed] needs to shut up and get a lawyer. Don’t admit guilt until proven guilty.

    First mistake was submitting to afield sobriety test.
    Second mistake was a premilinary BAC test (breath test)

    You are not required by law to submit to either. You do more damage than good when you do those. You help build their case against you. They CAN take you in for a test (blood or breath) at the station (you MUST submit to that one), but they have to have other evidence to give probable cause for the stop & detention. Don’t convivt yourself……[removed].

    • lucy
      June 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      First Mistake was driving while drunk…..DUH

  16. Dee
    June 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Good Heavens … reading some of these ”comments” about Drew is very disturbing.. I know Drew and he’s always been a very conscientous young man.. Haven’t you ever gone to a person’s home for dinner, had a glass or two of wine and felt OK to drive home? I’m not saying what he did was right, but I know he feels terrible about it and knows what the consequences are…I’m sure he’s learned his ”lesson” well… There are many many people who have SEVERAL ”DUI’s” and they continue to drive, even if they lose their license, and get into fatal wrecks… Drew stumbled, like any person can do… Pray for him first before you condemn him..

    • Not again....
      June 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      I guess you’ll have to pardon some of the schadenfreude. Especially considering the dirt that Mr. Mercy has dug up on so many people, and displayed publicly. I remember when an Assembly candidate, not that long ago had some tax issues. Mr. Mercy was the first one to post everything on Facebook about it. You know, log, speck, eye. That whole thing.

      • J. Perez
        June 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

        Are you some sort of schill for Linda Jones? go pound sand please!

        • Not again....
          June 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

          Oops! Did we hit a little too close to home? Linda Jones is NOT the only person that Mr. Mercy has gone after for personal failings so….go pound sand please.

    • Raptormann
      June 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Drew?!? The biggest contributor to the politics of personal destruction in the AV? That Drew?!

      Hmm Hmmmmm

      I’d say I’m sorry; but I’m not!

      • You can ask....
        June 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

        I’ll bet you that they’re working on a deal where he can plead guilty to the crime, avoid any time in jail, do some community service work (probably working for George Runner or in the Board of Trade office) and keep the whole story of how much he drank, where he was going, where he was leaving, and who he was with under wraps. They don’t need another Roy Ashburn running around.

        • Raptormann
          June 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm


    • Karemtilt@Gmail
      July 31, 2013 at 1:20 am

      Well I’m sure if he killed your family u might feel different. This person obviously has poor judgement, shouldn’t we expect more not less.

  17. William
    June 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Haven’t you noticed by now that people who get in trouble and their buddies know how to say all the right things almost as though they were written by a PR person?

    • Not again....
      June 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      I know. Drew Mercy makes a living out of digging up dirt on people. Now the shovel’s in the other hand….so to speak.

  18. William
    June 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    It’s funny. We expect teenagers to have self-control as far as having sex, using drugs and alcohol while grownups don’t know any better. That should read ‘some grownups’.

  19. Jeff
    June 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    My understanding is this is a Felony. I wonder if this has some special treatment already? We saw special treatment for the Steve Knight employees during the election, and Drew did run Steve’s campaign. I wonder if there is a connection?

    • Frank Rizzo
      June 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      A DUI isn’t a felony until there is a major accident or death involved.

      • AVGirl
        June 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        There are 2 other ways in CA:
        1) 3 or more prior convictions for DUI (or “wet reckless”) in the past 10 years
        2) A prior felony DUI

    • Not again....
      June 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      I was wondering why in the world the Republicans ran Ron Smith for Assembly. NOW it all makes sense!

      • youareright
        June 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

        They were drunk!

  20. Frank Rizzo
    June 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    This guy does not even have the common sense to not drink and drive? He needs to resign, he obviously cant make sound decisions. Have another drink, everything will be ok in Lancaster.

  21. Wow!
    June 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Looks like Mr. Mercy will meet a guy named Bill Wilson very soon.

    • Frank Rizzo
      June 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      …and don’t forget Doctor Bob!

  22. Wow!
    June 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Now if a DEMOCRAT had done it, George Runner would be calling for his head on a stick!

    • William
      June 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      The republicans are so, so forgiving of their own but no one else. How Christian. How republican. How Runner.

      • sikntired
        June 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        Ha ha, looks like Rex is going to have to do some damage control.

    • OT
      June 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Really. The AVRA has been sitting on this for over a month. Of course he said he was in the wrong. What the hell else could he say? Another government employee that the Runner’s have taken under their wing. Hey, maybe he could drive their brand new 150,000 bus we bought for them? Seems to be a recurring theme in their world.

    • Raptormann
      June 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      I think both behave equally as bad. Demoncruds and Repubicans, you can have both of those Tweedle Dums!

      The Democrats INVENTED the politics of personal destruction and the Republicans have become clumsy practitioners of it.

  23. Chris
    June 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Well at least nobody was hurt. I am glad he feels so bad about this. Others need to learn!

    • Proud AV Resident
      June 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Yes, others do need to learn. It can happen so easily. We all hear about drunk driving accidents that claim lives of others, but a DUI can happen after enjoying a few drinks with friends. Anyone who knows Drew, knows what an honest and nice man he is. Nothing the papers or commenters on here say about him will be worse than how he already feels. It’s a shame to see such a nice, honest guy’s mistake become a top news story for the day. But at least people will learn from this.

      • Adam Chant
        June 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        Maybe it’s time that some of these social networking events and organizations start having some ‘dry’ gatherings. Yes, we are all adults and should know better, but when it becomes so normal to see DUI next to BA or BS (like it’s another degree) maybe it’s time to reconsider the events that lead up to the outcome.
        No one is exempt from a DUI except those that don’t drink and drive.

        • Mommy
          June 20, 2013 at 7:17 am

          Exactly Adam. Mr Mercy & his plastic Barbie wife drink ALL the time.

      • OT
        June 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        Drew is the same clown that was screaming about those damn Muslims in Palmdale couple years back. At least they don’t drink and drive. With the amount of time he spends attending parties for the Runners you can bet this wasn’t the 1st time. Just the 1st time he was caught.

      • seriously?
        June 13, 2013 at 12:41 am

        Drew Mercy is a “honest, nice man” really? This is the guy who is the political hit man in Lancaster. He’s had almost 2 months to figure out what to say, and he decided on apologetic, but make no mistake, this guy is a manipulative political operative, nice doesn’t enter into the picture unless you’re paying him.
        There is a reason he looks just like Ron Smith in this picture. They are exactly the same kind of scum.

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