A state representative from Waterbury was arrested early Thursday morning after a crash late Wednesday night.
Now, State Representative Victor Cuevas, who is the recreation director of Waterbury’s River Baldwin Recreational Center, is being charged with operating under the influence.
Cuevas, who serves District 75, has been elected twice, each time with more than 80 percent of the vote.
"He's a nice guy. Never had problems. I've known him a lot of years. He works for the city,” said Vincente Pagan of Waterbury.
According to Connecticut State Police, 51-year-old Cuevas was heading east on I-84 and hit the car in front of him, when that driver slowed down for traffic near exit 25 in Waterbury.
While police said neither drivers were injured, troopers suspected Cuevas was under the influence.
Police said Cuevas failed a roadside sobriety test and was brought to state police in Southbury where he refused to take a breath test.
"You're a representative of your state, why aren't you submitting to it,” said Cyndi Finnemore of Waterbury.
In addition to his job, Cuevas serves on three committees in Hartford, including as the vice chairman of the Labor and Public Employees Committee.
He recently received a 2015 YMCA legislative Champion Award, for supporting its work with children.
In a statement, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) said "Though all of the details of the incident are unclear at this time, in light of the seriousness of the charge, I am removing Rep. Cuevas from his leadership responsibilities as vice-chair of the Labor & Public Employees Committee. Victor understands that he needs to take the appropriate steps to resolve this matter, while continuing to serve and represent his constituents."
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