Maricopa Co. constable recorded going 100 mph 26 times - Tucson News Now

5 INVESTIGATES

Maricopa Co. constable recorded going 100 mph 26 times

Data pulled from his county-issued car reveals Constable Doug Clark reached speeds of more than 100 mph 26 times in the course of a year. (Source: CBS 5 News) Data pulled from his county-issued car reveals Constable Doug Clark reached speeds of more than 100 mph 26 times in the course of a year. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The first rule of a constable is to uphold the law, but for Maricopa County Constable Doug Clark, that's been a bit of a challenge when getting behind the wheel of his county-issued vehicle. 

A year ago, the constable blew the engine on his 2006 Crown Victoria. That's when the shop notified the county that Clark had routinely broken the speed laws in his district.

"I made a mistake," Clark told CBS 5 Investigates during a sit-down interview.

Data pulled from his county-issued car reveals Clark put his pedal to the metal, reaching speeds of more than 100 mph 26 times in the course of a year.

He floored it at speeds of more than 90 mph on 43 other occasions.

Clark explained why.

"You know when you get that call, 'I'm in danger. I going to get beat up here. Something terrible is going to happen at this eviction. I need back up now.'  What do you do?" asked Clark.

The constable said the job of serving eviction notices is often done alone and can be dangerous. He said that's when fellow constables call each other for backup.

Clark told CBS 5 Investigates he was responding to someone who needed help every time he reached 100-mph speeds.

"I don't speed just to speed," he explained.

There is no record to back up Clark's claims. CBS 5 Investigates asked him about the dozens of other times he was recorded driving more than 90 mph.

"I cannot remember all of those incidences," Clark said.

Clark is no stranger to speed.

CBS 5 Investigates learned that in 1996, through records he wanted expunged, Clark was clocked going 91 mph in a 45-mph speed zone. Clark was a member of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse and was in a patrol car at the time.

In 1999, the then-posse member crashed a marked car at 3 a.m. The incident report cites "speed too fast for conditions."

And in 2011, DPS cited Clark for driving 75 mph in a 50-mph zone. He was ordered to take an online dangerous driving class.

Last year, when Maricopa County discovered Clark's driving frequently involved criminal speeds and he was wasting county resources, they took his car away. After five months and another driving class, the constable got his car back.

A county spokesperson told CBS 5 Investigates that Clark was never prosecuted because he wasn't caught in the act.

Ron Myers is the head of the Constable's Ethics, Standards and Training Board and said Clark's driving habits didn't come before the board because no one complained about it.

He explained Clark can't be fired because he's an elected official. The only way to put the brakes on his position is by voter recall.

Clark is up for re-election in August.

Myers said excessive speeds are still not allowed.

"We're not first-responders. Our cars are not equipped with red lights and siren," Myers said.

Even in emergency situations, Myers said, county constables can't break the law.

"We have no authority that gives us the right to exceed the speed limit," Myers said.

Clark told CBS 5 Investigates his need for speed is under control and acknowledges he is not above the law.

"I can't change anything except move forward from this point forward, and I've taken it as a learning experience. And that's what I want to do," Clark said.

Maricopa County has been monitoring Clark's driving every month since he got his car back and a spokesperson said he has been abiding by the posted speed limits.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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