Urbana official arrested for DUI in crash
Mayor's chief of staff allegedly left scene of accident
URBANA — Police are awaiting the results of chemical testing after a high-ranking city official this week was arrested for alleged drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident following a crash near his home.
Mike Monson, 55, was taken to jail after being involved in an accident at 8:22 p.m. Tuesday. He is the chief of staff to Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing, a position he has held for about 3-1/2 years.
According to an Urbana police report, the other driver was ticketed for making an improper turn and hitting Monson's vehicle.
Monson, however, allegedly left his vehicle in the road after the accident and returned to his home around the corner, according to the police report. Officers later found him at home and arrested him about 50 minutes after the accident.
According to the police report, Monson admitted to consuming alcohol before driving and leaving the scene of the accident. He submitted to chemical testing, and State's Attorney Julia Rietz said on Thursday that authorities are awaiting the results of that test before filing charges.
Monson was arrested on preliminary allegations of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
Monson declined comment on Thursday afternoon and directed questions to his attorney, who could not be reached.
Prussing said on Thursday that she has considered no repercussions as far as his employment with the city.
"He was on his own time," Prussing said. "He wasn't driving a city car."
She also said the accident is a private matter.
"It's an unfortunate issue, but people make mistakes," she said.
Monson was hired as Prussing's chief of staff in August 2009. He succeeded a chief administrative officer who was put on administrative leave in 2007 and not invited to return to city employment at the end of that fiscal year.
Before his appointment as chief of staff, Monson worked as a news reporter for The News-Gazette.
The city budgeted $74,260 for Monson's position this fiscal year. His primary duties include assisting Prussing in oversight and administration of city government, acting as a principal liaison between constituents and interest groups, and representing the city to local groups when the mayor is unavailable.