M-DOT director must attend anger management class

Butch Brown's mug shot from the morning of his arrest in Biloxi
Butch Brown's mug shot from the morning of his arrest in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The City of Biloxi will drop a public intoxication charge against M-DOT's executive director, provided Butch Brown first attends an anger management class. That plea agreement was announced in municipal court on Thursday.

The charge stems from a July incident at Beau Rivage casino when Brown was arrested in the early morning hours after falling asleep at a slot machine.

Health problems kept Larry "Butch" Brown from personally appearing in court; he's awaiting surgery following a third recurrence of prostate cancer.

His lawyer, Walter Brown, was in court and spoke with reporters following the brief proceeding. He said the M-DOT director is "apologetic" over what happened, but also insists Butch Brown was not drunk.

Brown's attorney spoke on his behalf in Biloxi Municipal Court and accepted a plea agreement for the public intoxication charge.

"The agreement is that the case will be passed to the files and the court will review it in six months. During that period of time, Mr. Brown will take an anger management course," said defense attorney Walter Brown.

Brown was arrested at Beau Rivage casino by Biloxi police in the early morning hours of July 23rd. The casino initially filed a disorderly conduct charge, which was later dropped. The public intoxication charge, pursued by the city, resulted in the plea agreement.

Butch Brown's attorney insists his client was not drunk and passed a subsequent breath test at the Harrison County Detention Center.

"The result was zero two. And as you know, point zero eight is the barometer or the measurement for a DUI. This was not a DUI case, but it does reflect that he was not intoxicated and that's very important that the public understands that," said the lawyer.

Butch Brown's attorney said his client did indeed fall asleep in front of a Beau Rivage slot machine. But the lawyer says it wasn't booze, but likely a medical condition that caused that incident.

"He does suffer from a sleep disorder. He was under treatment in Jackson, the pulmonary clinic up there. And he had been taking treatments there and I suspect that's why he was indeed asleep at the Beau Rivage," said attorney Brown.

Attorney Brown says the M-DOT director is apologetic over the incident.  He's prepared to take the anger management course, have the charge dropped, and put this behind him.

"Like anyone who was arrested probably, he overreacted. But for that matter, probably Beau Rivage overreacted. And I suspect to some extent, given the investigation and the way it turned out, the press may have overreacted as well. But that's all behind us now," said the lawyer.

Butch Brown's attorney said the M-DOT director is currently awaiting surgery following a third recurrence of prostate cancer. The lawyer says Brown is anxious to get back to work and has no intentions of stepping down.

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