Scott Kernan, the second-ranking administrator of California's prison system, has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in his state car, triggering a disciplinary review and postponement of a June 24th state Senate confirmation hearing, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Kernan, 47, was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2008 as undersecretary for prison operations for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
In that position he is responsible for running the state's 33 prisons on a day-to-day basis, said agency spokesman Seth Unger.
The arrest was made at 7:30 p.m. Sunday by California Highway Patrol officers in Sacramento County.
Kernan has been placed on paid leave pending possible disciplinary action that could range from suspension to termination, Unger said.
Kernan "notified the secretary immediately and expressed deep remorse for his actions," Unger said.
Kernan started working for the agency in 1983 as a correctional officer and later worked as a warden.
Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Schwarzenegger is "confident in the actions" being taken by corrections Secretary Matthew Cate and will wait to see the outcome before making a decision on the nomination.
-- Patrick McGreevy