DUI charges against Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa “are not being dropped,” according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
A report from a Phoenix television station that charges had been dismissed gained steam on social media Monday morning.
In an email to the Tribune, Jennifer Liewer, communications director for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, wrote: “The dismissal is a formality because the case was filed in the wrong court. The charges are not being dropped. We will be refiling the charges in a different justice court.”
La Russa was charged with driving under the influence after a February arrest in Arizona. The case was filed Oct. 28 — one day before the Sox announced La Russa’s hiring — according to the Maricopa County Justice Courts website. A Sox spokesman said on Nov. 10, the day ESPN first reported the charges, that the organization was aware of the arrest before hiring La Russa.
Last week the Sox said in a statement: “As Tony La Russa’s attorney said in his statement, Tony deserves all the assumptions and protections granted to everyone in a court of law, especially while this is a pending matter. Once his case reaches resolution in the courts, we will have more to say. The White Sox understand the seriousness of these charges.”
The Sox named La Russa their new manager on Oct. 29. He replaced Rick Renteria, who guided the Sox this year to their first winning record since 2012 and first playoff appearance since 2008.
Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was asked about the managerial change Friday during a conference call the day after he was named American League Most Valuable Player.
“What I can say is I’m really thankful with Rick Renteria, with the coaching staff, because they helped us a lot,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “They helped us to make the playoffs last year, they helped us to get to this point.
“At the same time, I’m just glad to have a manager like Tony La Russa. Like I told him (in a phone conversation Thursday), he can count on me. As a player, that’s what we can do for a manager, just play hard and respect him. We’ll see how things go once the season starts.”
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