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March 24, 2019

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NSHE: Nevada State College president on leave of absence after DUI arrest

Bart Patterson

Bart Patterson

Nevada State College President Bart Patterson has gone on a leave of absence after his April 27 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, the Nevada System of Higher Education said today.

In a statement released after new details of the arrest became available, NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly said that he had addressed the arrest with Patterson “and we agreed he would take a leave of absence to reflect upon his actions.”

Earlier, Reilly had said that Patterson was taking some time to assess the matter and cooperate in the legal process.

This week, a newly released legal document indicated that Patterson’s blood-alcohol content registered at 0.214, more than twice the legal limit, after his arrest. The arrest came after a single-car accident in which Patterson struck a streetlight pole near Warm Springs Road and Green Valley Parkway.

Henderson police officers who responded to the accident reported in the court document that Patterson slurred his speech and stumbled when asked to get out of his vehicle. Officers said he told them he’d consumed two glasses of wine, but he smelled strongly of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.

Patterson, through the college, issued a statement in which he expressed regret and said he was thankful that no one was injured in the accident.

In the NSHE statement, Reilly said: “While I do understand that people make mistakes, I am nonetheless disappointed in President Patterson’s actions. We hold institution presidents to a high standard of personal and professional conduct and we expect them to serve as role models for our students and faculty. “

Arraignment is scheduled for June 4 in Henderson Municipal Court for Patterson, who had attended a college charity event before the accident.