DA Lehmberg releases statement about prosecutor's DWI arrest

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 14 at 11:54 AM

AUSTIN -- Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has released a statement after a prosecutor working for her office was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Brandon Grunewald, 33, was arrested this weekend after allegedly being involved in a traffic accident. The DA’s office confirmed the arrest with KVUE News Monday.

Tuesday morning Lehmberg released the following statement about Grunewald's arrest:

Assistant District Attorney Brandon Grunewald was arrested by Austin police on Sunday afternoon and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), a misdemeanor.  Grunewald was involved in a collision.  Currently there are no injuries reported from the collision.

Brandon Grunewald has served in the District Attorney’s Office for almost five years. His performance has been excellent.

The Travis County Attorney is handling the DWI case since it is his first arrest and therefore a misdemeanor. The District Attorney’s Office handles felony DWIs which result when individuals have been previously convicted of DWIs.

I met with Brandon yesterday to discuss the matter.  He will work with his attorney over the next days to determine the best course to dispose of the case.  Because the events are so recent, I informed Brandon that I would wait until all the facts are known before making any final decisions, but that it has not been our usual course to terminate an employee for first offense DWI.

According to an arrest affidavit Grunewald was involved in a crash Sunday afternoon on the access road of southbound MoPac near Barton Skyway. Reports say he was driving a 2008 Land Rover when he hit the driver of a Mini Cooper from behind.

The arrest affidavit says Grunewald appeared to have bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol. The officer also said in the report that Gruneweld refused to take breath and field-sobriety tests. Officers later drew his blood to test, after obtaining a search warrant.

Grunewald, who is assigned to the trial division which prosecutes DWI cases, was arrested and charged with DWI. He posted a $3,500 bond and was later released but ordered to install an ignition interlock device on his vehicle.

According to the Texas Tribune, as of July 18, 2013, Grunewald had a salary of $83,424. He has been employed by the DA's office since August of 2006.

In March of 2012, Grunewald prosecuted Charles Roberts Jr., 24, who was being chased by police and crashed into a bus stop, killing Rondal Lynn Brooks, 41. Roberts was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Grunewald had asked for a 35-year sentence, KVUE's exclusive news partner the Austin-American Statesman reported.

While DA Rosemary Lehmberg said she has never fired someone for a first DWI offense, KVUE News has learned that Frank Dixon and Cynthia Bell with the Travis County DA’s office were fired after offenses of DWI. A source also tells KVUE News a victim witness counselor was fired after a DWI offense.

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