The lawyer for Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston entered a plea of not guilty in court Tuesday morning on charges of impaired driving and exceeding the .08 limit.
About two hours later, Clugston sent an email to local media saying he has agreed to plead guilty to impaired driving.
Clugston apologized, saying he "exercised very poor judgment" and must take responsibility for his actions.
The mayor says his lawyer told him he had a good chance of acquittal, but Clugston says he wants to save his family and city from the humiliation of a trial.
Clugston was charged during a traffic stop last month.
"I will take time to reflect and learn from this in the coming months and years. Hopefully some good can come of this. Since this incident occurred I have continued to work and attend all public events and functions where possible and I intend to continue to do so.
"Thank you for your patience and understanding. I only ask that you respect my family’s privacy at this time."
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