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Former D-backs executive, White Sox manager Tony La Russa arrested for DUI in Phoenix in February

The arrest occurred in February, but the case was filed on Oct. 28, one day before Tony La Russa’s hiring was announced by the White Sox.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 22, 2014, file photo, Arizona Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa smiles as he talks about his upcoming induction ceremony into the Baseball Hall of Fame during a news conference in Phoenix. La Russa, the Hall of Famer who won a World Series championship with the Oakland Athletics and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals, is returning to manage the Chicago White Sox 34 years after they fired him, the team announced Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/File)

PHOENIX — Former Arizona Diamondbacks executive and current Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was charged with driving under the influence for an incident near Phoenix earlier this year.

According to the Maricopa County Justice Courts website, the arrest occurred in February, but the case was filed on Oct. 28, one day before La Russa’s hiring was announced by the White Sox. 

There is no attorney listed for La Russa on the website.

White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said the team was aware of the arrest when the 76-year-old La Russa was hired.

“Because this is an active case, we cannot comment further at this time,” Reifert said Monday night in an email.

Jennifer Liewer, the spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, told 12 News that the charges against La Russa were not dropped but were filed in the wrong justice court. 

They had to be dismissed from the Maricopa County Justice Court on Friday and will be refiled in the Kyrene Justice Court. No court dates have been set as of Monday.

According to court documents, La Russa allegedly ran his car into a curb on State Route 143 on Feb. 24. A peace officer found La Russa standing next to his SUV, which was smoking, according to court docs. 

La Russa was taken into custody after a field sobriety test. The court docs say he refused blood tests but a search warrant blood draw put his blood alcohol content at .095.

La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida in 2007 after police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light and smelling of alcohol.

“I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again,” La Russa said then.

La Russa was hired by Chicago in a surprise move after Rick Renteria was let go in what the team insisted was a mutual decision. La Russa, who is friends with team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, started his managing career with the White Sox during the 1979 season.

The Hall of Famer hasn’t managed a big league club since 2011, when he led St. Louis past Texas in the World Series. He also won championships with Oakland in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006.

La Russa is the oldest manager in the major leagues by five years. Houston’s Dusty Baker is 71.

An MLB Hall of Famer, La Russa was formerly the D-backs' Chief Baseball Officer, but he left the organization in 2017 following a demotion after a disappointing season.

RELATED: Tony La Russa is leaving the Diamondbacks, team announces