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House Speaker Todd Huston 'disappointed' in Rep. Jim Lucas after guilty pleas

Indiana Republican Representative Jim Lucas gesticulates with his left hand raised while speaking on the House floor. Lucas is a White man with dark hair and a beard, wearing a suit.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors – driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a crash.

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said he’s “disappointed” in the actions of Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), who pleaded guilty Monday to driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a crash.

Huston also said he hasn’t decided whether the southern Indiana lawmaker will face any consequences from the Republican caucus.

Lucas’s guilty pleas stem from an incident last month in which he crashed his vehicle on Interstate 65 and drove off, discovered later by police.

His plea agreement has no jail time but does require probation that includes drug and alcohol testing and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Lucas must also pay about $4,000 to repair a guardrail he crashed into.

READ MORE: State Rep. Jim Lucas arrested for driving while intoxicated, leaving scene of crash

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Huston said he spoke with Lucas after his arrest but hasn’t talked with him since the guilty pleas.

“You’re just grateful and thankful to God that he wasn’t hurt or no one else was hurt," Huston said. "And, you know, get the help that he needs and make sure that situation doesn’t happen again. I understand that he’s in counseling and I think that’s a positive step.”

Lucas has repeatedly courted controversy in his time at the Statehouse, notably for racist social media posts.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.