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Former state GOP Chairman Schroeder arrested, faces DUI charge

November 15, 2012 | 12:52 pm

Michael J. Schroeder, the former California GOP chairman and a powerful figure in Orange County politics, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of drunk driving, authorities said.

The criminal case has been forwarded by county prosecutors to the state attorney general's office. Schroeder's wife, Susan Kang Schroeder, is chief of staff for the Orange County district attorney's office.

Schroeder, 56, was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on Nov. 1 after an officer observed him weaving and crossing into other lanes while driving on the 55 Freeway at 3:20 a.m., according to the Orange County Register.

The officer noted that Schroeder had slurred speech, smelled of alcohol, had watery eyes and failed a field sobriety test, according to the newspaper, which cited a CHP report.

He was taken to a CHP station, given a blood test, cited and then released, the Register reported.

Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office, confirmed that Schroeder was arrested and said the case has been referred to the state attorney general.

A California Highway Patrol spokesperson did not respond to requests for details of the arrest two weeks ago.

Schroeder was chair of the state Republican Party and has been an influential political advisor over the years. Schroeder was an advisor to former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for witness tampering.

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--Nicole Santa Cruz

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