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Cardinals' La Russa pleads guilty to DUI

Nov. 28, 2007 at 7:04 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa pleaded guilty Wednesday to a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County, Fla.

As part of a plea deal for his March 22 arrest, La Russa agreed to be placed on probation, pay related fines and serve 50 hours of community service, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

La Russa will have his driver's license suspended for six months as part of the plea deal, and will have to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel and DUI classes.

Police in Jupiter, Fla., found La Russa asleep and smelling of alcohol in his car March 22.

La Russa was not in court Wednesday to finalize his plea deal, but he sent the court a letter apologizing for his actions, the newspaper said.

"I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again," La Russa wrote.

Bill DeWitt, the Cardinals' principal owner, said in a statement released by the team:

"We addressed this matter with Tony last season and the nature of those discussions will remain private. We have been satisfied with Tony's responsible approach to this issue and we respect his decision. With today's news, our ball club considers the matter closed."

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