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New Bern Mayor Considering Running For District Attorney

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While he's not going to run for mayor of New Bern again, Lee Bettis says he's thinking about a different office: district attorney. We caught up with him Friday to get his thoughts on running for office.

"I think the DA's position can be done better. I'm not taking anything off the table. It's going to be a decision that my wife and my kids and I make together and if we feel like its something we as a family can do, that we can make changes and accept the consequences for the changes we make. I'm saying that I'm thinking about it," said Bettis.

Bettis was recently indicted on charges of DWI, reckless driving to endanger, and child abuse. He was arrested May 6th in Havelock.

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Court records show New Bern’s mayor was indicted on DWI, reckless driving to endanger and child abuse. He was arrested May 6 in Havelock. Mayor Lee Bettis was not previously charged with child abuse for the incident.

48-year-old Bettis was charged with DWI in May after drivers called 911 to report that someone was driving erratically on Highway 101. Police say Havelock's 911 Center received two calls about a vehicle driving dangerously down Highway 101 and then on U.S. 70. "I mean, this guy almost hit about six people. He is everywhere," a woman following Bettis' van told 911. "There are kids in there? No way. Oh, man...there are kids in there," she told a dispatcher.

The van was stopped and police say they gave the mayor several field sobriety tests. Two children were in the van at the time.

Documents allege his stepchildren, then ages 13 and 9, were in the car with Bettis.

Bettis was arrested Tuesday and was released on a written promise to appear in court.

Lee Bettis says he blew a 0.0 on the breathalyzer the morning he was pulled over back in May. The results of his blood test turned up Benzodiazepines, a psychoactive drug commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizures.

An out-of-district special prosecutor was appointed to handle the case.

Bettis, who is a lawyer, says he is not running for re-election later this year.

His next court date is scheduled for September 17.


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