Rep. David Lee Cook, R–Globe, was stripped of his membership last month on the State House Public Safety Committee.
Cook was subject to disciplinary action after his Dec. 19, 2018 arrest for driving under the influence (DUI).
In a Dec. 21 press release, House Speaker-elect Rusty Bowers, (R-Mesa), announced the action he took against Cook, which included removing him from service on the Public Safety Committee.
Bowers also disbanded the County Infrastructure Committee that Cook was supposed to chair, instead shifting the committee’s jurisdiction to other House committees.
Cook would remain on the House Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee, he said.
Bowers said that he made the decision after reviewing the police report, seeing the arrest footage and talking to Cook.
“Rep. Cook has the ability to be a talented legislator, but he clearly has some personal challenges that he needs to confront,” Bowers said in his Dec. 21 press release. “I’m hopeful that this incident serves as a wake-up call to him and that he does the work necessary to earn back the trust of his colleagues and constituents — and he has committed to do so.”
As of press time, Cook had not responded to messages sent to him by the Silver Belt.
Cook was arrested on DUI charges, including extreme DUI, shortly after 11:20 p.m. Dec. 19.
A DPS report indicated that Cook was initially charged with DUI-liquor/drugs/vapors/combo; DUI with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 or more and extreme DUI, with a BAC of .15 to .19.
A state trooper stopped Cook’s white Ford F-250 truck near McDowell Road, for “multiple occurrences of unsafe lane usage,” said DPS Public Information Officer Bart Graves.
Before the trooper could finish explaining the reason for the traffic stop, Cook interrupted him, saying that he had dropped his cellphone and was trying to pick it up, thus the reason for the swerving.
The trooper noted that Cook was unable to retrieve his cellphone from the floorboard after several attempts.
Asked for his driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, Cook handed the trooper his insurance card and registration, followed by his Arizona House of Representatives identification card.
The trooper asked Cook for his license a second time, and Cook complied.
After running a records check, the trooper returned to Cook’s truck, asking him to step outside, to which Cook replied, “No, I’m not getting out.”
Reiterating that he was just getting the phone he had dropped, Cook said there was “no need for this,” the report states.
The trooper told Cook that he needed to step out of the truck so that he could verify that Cook was telling the truth and was safe to drive.
Cook replied, “Do you know what you’re doing, son? You’re making a mistake,” then said, “What do you want me to do?”
When the trooper asked Cook to consent to a field sobriety test, Cook replied, “No, I’m not going to do that.”
The trooper told Cook that if he was unwilling to comply with the field sobriety test, the trooper would take him to the jail for other tests.
At first Cook said, “Why do we need to do that?” and then said, “Fine, what do you want me to do?”
In his report, the trooper called Cook “uncompliant” during the field sobriety test. Cook later became argumentative, even raising his voice to the trooper.
A second state trooper who had arrived on scene talked to Cook, trying to calm him down and was successful doing so, though Cook remained uncooperative, the report stated.
Once arrested, Cook was taken to the station, where a trooper advised him to watch his head while getting out of the patrol unit.
Cook replied, “I’m fine. Don’t worry, you’ll get yours,” the report stated.
Later, when served with the order suspending his driving privileges, Cook said, “It’s fine. My wife works at the MVD.”
At 3:17 a.m., Cook was released to his wife, Dana Cook.
In a Dec. 20, 2018 post on his Facebook page, Cook described himself as lucky to be pulled over and get a DUI, as there was no accident and no one got hurt, etc.
He said the DPS officers who had pulled him over behaved professionally and did their job well.
In his post, Cook apologized to all, saying that he holds himself to a higher standard and has let everyone down — friends and family alike.
“I didn’t request or receive any sort of special treatment as a result of holding office, as it should be,” he said. “I’ll be facing a judge and very real consequences, which I’ll keep you all updated on as they occur.”
A member of the state House of Representatives since 2017, Cook represents Arizona’s Eighth Legislative District, which includes portions of Gila and Pinal Counties.