Hastings school board member-elect arrested for DWI

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A booking photo of Mark Zuzek.
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A former school superintendent who was just elected to the Hastings school board has been charged with driving while impaired.

courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Mark Zuzek

Mark Zuzek, 58, recorded a 0.18 blood alcohol level at 8:45 a.m. Thursday following his arrest by Woodbury police.

Zuzek, who is due to take office Jan. 2, said Monday his attorney advised him not to comment on his arrest. Asked whether he intended to serve on the board, he said, “I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to anybody at the district level yet.”

According to the criminal complaint, someone called the police at 7:51 a.m. Thursday after watching a driver run a stop sign and swerve “all over the road” near Valley Creek Road and Weir Drive, which is just south of Woodbury Middle School.

Responding officers stopped Zuzek’s car after watching it drift over the lane lines several times. Zuzek told officers he’d had two drinks the night before, the complaint said.

He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and recorded a 0.18 – more than twice the legal limit to drive – on the first of two breath tests. He was released the next day after posting a $12,000 bond, and a court date was set for March 30.

Zuzek, who has no prior criminal history, was a teacher and principal in the Hastings school district before serving as superintendent for Intermediate School District 917, which offers special education, career and technical education and alternative education for nine member school districts in the southeast metro; he retired last year.

Endorsed by the teachers union, Zuzek won 52 percent of the vote Nov. 8 in a three-person special election to serve out the final three years of Mike Reis’ term following his resignation.

School board chairman Brian Davis said Monday the board had no comment.

Board member Jessica Dressely said in an interview that, speaking as a parent and taxpayer, “I think that as an elected official, there should be a higher standard.”

Asked whether she thought Zuzek should take office, Dressely said, “He should take some time to focus on his health.”

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