Arpaio upset Suns' P.J. Tucker not doing time at Tent City

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P.J. Tucker (Source: Scottsdale Police Department) P.J. Tucker (Source: Scottsdale Police Department)
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says Tucker should be doing his time in Tent City rather than a California jail and house arrest. (Source: CBS 5 News) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says Tucker should be doing his time in Tent City rather than a California jail and house arrest. (Source: CBS 5 News)

The Suns P.J. Tucker will serve three days in jail and 11 days home detention as punishment for his "super-extreme" DUI arrest in May in Scottsdale. 

According to state law, those convicted of "super-extreme" DUIs must serve 45 days in jail.

However, Tucker was able to reduce that sentence to just 14 days by agreeing to install a ignition interlock device to his car.

The remaining 14 days were reduced by 80 percent because Scottsdale offers a home detention option. A Scottsdale judge allowed Tucker to serve his jail time in California.

"I hear that the courts have allowed him to do his time in beautiful California in sort of a private facility instead of doing his time in the tents," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said, referring to his Tent City outdoor jail.

"It's kind of an affront to me, my office and the people of Maricopa County when he should be doing his time here," Arpaio said.

A police report said Tucker had a blood alcohol content level of 0.222 percent. In Arizona, a person is deemed legally drunk at 0.08 percent.

Tucker was pulled over May 10 after a Scottsdale police officer noticed the 2011 Mercedes-Benz that Tucker was driving had slowed to 10 mph and ran a stop sign at Camelback and Buckboard, the report stated.

Arpaio criticized the home arrest, saying Tucker "can drink at the house, look at porno, whatever."

"(Tucker) ought to be doing the time in jail," Arpaio said. "Now they got electronic monitors and put that on you. Whole bunch of excuses to keep from doing time in the jail."

Tucker pleaded guilty and issued this statement.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Phoenix for their love and support during my time as a Phoenix Sun. Thank you to the Phoenix Suns organization for supporting me throughout this difficult time. And, of course my wife Tracey, family and friends, who just keep loving me. I cannot express how much I appreciate and value the many blessings that I have been given -  love and abundance that I never imagined. I am truly blessed. I am so grateful that no one was hurt as a result of my choice to drive impaired.

"I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions. No excuses. It is now my responsibility to examine my life and make the changes necessary to ensure this never happens again. That process has begun and will continue with the love and support of my family, friends and, of course, the amazing Phoenix Suns. 

"There is both a lesson and an opportunity in this experience: I learned the lesson the hard way - the opportunity is to ensure others don't.

"The good that resulted from making this mistake is realizing people's capacity to forgive. Thank you all so much for the love and forgiveness that I have received throughout this time.

"I will not let you down. Thank you."

Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby issued this statement.

"Like P.J. himself, the Phoenix Suns take P.J.'s behavior very seriously. We remain fully committed to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. All of the members of our team, both on the court and in the front office, understand the importance of obeying the law and conducting ourselves in a way that honors our community. In considering this matter, we concluded that P.J. was sincere in his remorse and in his resolve to accept the consequences of his actions. We are convinced that he will take the necessary steps to avoid any such conduct in the future. The Suns do not in any way condone his conduct, but we do support him as he works through this."

The Suns said they were aware of Tucker's arrest when they signed signed him to a three-year, $16.5 million contract.

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