Iowa governor’s campaign aide says public intoxication arrest was “a mistake”

Phil Valenziano, photo courtesy LinkedIn.com

DES MOINES (AP) —  Phil Valenziano, the new campaign manager for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, has pleaded guilty to public intoxication after an officer found him urinating outside a suburban Des Moines shopping center last month.

A criminal complaint shows Valenziano was arrested late June 23 outside the West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines, where he was “caught in the act” by an officer.

The complaint says the 32-year-old attempted to walk away when officer Cody Jacobsen confronted him but was grabbed and became cooperative. It says Valenziano had slurred speech, poor balance, smelled heavily of alcohol and admitted to being very drunk. He pleaded guilty to a simple misdemeanor.

The arrest came days after Reynolds and acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced that Valenziano would manage their campaign for the 2018 election.

Valenziano says in a statement he made a mistake and is “disappointed in myself for letting down the governor and her team.” He says he pleaded guilty and “will ensure this never happens again.”

He says he informed Reynolds after his arrest, which came days after she announced he would manage her 2018 campaign. He says he will “be remaining in my current role as her campaign manager.”

Reynolds’ office referred questions to Valenziano, calling it a campaign matter.