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Jury acquits former state senator of OWI (UPDATE)

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) – A jury has acquitted former state Sen. Randy Hopper of first-offense drunken driving.

The Reporter newspaper in Fond du Lac says the jury returned a not-guilty verdict Friday.
The 46-year-old Republican was arrested in October after a motorist reported a driver weaving back and forth.

Hopper testified Thursday that politics played a role in his arrest. He said his vote to eliminate collective bargaining for most state employees was a catalyst for threats against him.

Hopper lost his seat in August in a recall election spurred by that vote.

Defense attorney Dennis Melowski said he’s thrilled by the verdict. He said in the last year, Hopper has “been through more than any human being should have had to endure simply because of his political beliefs.”

Information from: The Reporter, http://www.fdlreporter.com

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