A warrant was issued Wednesday for the arrest of former Bay County Republican Party Chairman Arthur Cullen for not reporting to his probation officer.
Cullen, 31, was arrested in August 2006, and charged with DUI, driving with a suspended license, resisting arrest and felony fleeing and eluding police. His case was set for trial, and continued, five times.
Former State Attorney Steve Meadows reduced Cullen's felony charge of fleeing and eluding police to a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer without violence on Dec. 17.
Cullen pleaded no contest Dec. 24 to that charge, along with DUI and knowingly driving with a suspended license - the fifth time since 1997 that he had been charged with the latter offense.
According to court records, Cullen was placed on one-year probation, ordered to attend DUI school and perform 50 hours of community service. Cullen also was charged with DUI in June 2002, pleaded to reckless driving, and the charge was adjudicated, according to court records. He had to attend DUI school for that charge as well
On Aug. 27, 2006, Panama City police were working a traffic crash at U.S. Business 98 and Gray Avenue at about 5 a.m. when Cullen approached, ignoring requests by two officers to stop his vehicle, according to a police report. Cullen drove around police cars blocking traffic - because of downed power lines - and then sped away, leading officers on a chase about a half-mile long, according to the report.
Cullen, police said, "drove at high rates of speed and at one point ran a vehicle off the roadway, demonstrating a wanton disregard for safety."
The report states that when Cullen did stop, he was removed forcibly from his vehicle and continued to resist arrest by pulling away and refusing to follow the officer's commands.
Cullen freely stated, police said, that he fled because he had been drinking alcohol and his license was suspended. Cullen resigned his position as GOP chairman two days later.