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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, August 15, 2022

System official resigns after scrutiny from drunk driving arrest

The UW System chief of staff and vice president of University Relations was arrested for drunk driving while out of town for a Board of Regents meeting this fall — Tuesday morning she resigned her post.

“[Jessica] Tormey made a personal choice to leave the organization based upon a personal mistake and how media coverage of those decisions potentially reflected on the UW System,” the System said in an email statement.

In October, Tormey joined other System officials at UW-Stout for the Board of Regents meeting. The evening she was arrested with a blood-alcohol level of .13 percent, higher than the legal limit of .08 percent, Tormey attended a dinner for the regents on campus where wine was offered.

System spokesperson Stephanie Marquis noted that the dinner served as an educational opportunity for students in the Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, including learning about wine pairings, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

According to the citation, Tormey was traveling to her hotel and was pulled over because her headlights were out. Officers then administered field sobriety tests and discovered she was under the influence of alcohol.

"The officer described her as very cooperative. She was upset and crying. She recognized what she had done,” said Matt Mayer, Tormey’s attorney according to the Sentinel.

Earlier this month Tormey pleaded guilty to the offense, which was her first. She paid a fine of $866.50 and had her license revoked for six months.

Tormey had served the UW System in various roles since 2007 and in the coming weeks President Ray Cross will determine how to fill her roles, according to the statement. In the meantime Office of Administration Vice President Rob Cramer will support her staff.


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