PHOENIX — The top law enforcement officer of Arizona's Department of Public Safety appeared to downplay the revelation he was caught driving more than 90 mph on a freeway in October.
DPS Director Frank Milstead appeared on KTAR Friday morning and misstated the criminal speeding law while also making light of his own actions.
Milstead began the interview saying, “It’s an exciting day to talk about my speeding” and suggested the public reaction was overblown.
"I am baffled by as much attention this has received,” Milstead said. “I have sped before and I might speed again."
The stunning admission comes after years of Milstead making public pronouncements that condemn speeding on Arizona’s highways. In 2017, Milstead said speed was the number one cause of deaths. Last year, there were more than 1,000 traffic fatalities in Arizona, according to ADOT.
During the radio interview, Milstead was asked if driving over 85 mph is a criminal offense.
“No … It’s not even a misdemeanor crime. It’s just a civil traffic infraction. There’s no criminal activity involved,” Milstead said.
After a commercial break, Milstead corrected the record and acknowledged he was mistaken.
Arizona law states anyone driving over 85 mph could be cited with a Class 3 criminal misdemeanor.
Milstead was also weaving in and out of traffic without using his turn signal, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff Deputy who pulled him over.