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Former Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office Chief Confesses to Drunk Driving in Wayzata

Former Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office Chief Confesses to Drunk Driving in Wayzata

The former head of the Hennepin County public defender’s office has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in connection with a 2022 incident in which police pulled him over as he was driving eastbound in the westbound lane of Highway 12 in Wayzata.

Kassius Benson, 53, pleaded guilty last week in Hennepin County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. Police stopped him in his pickup truck around 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2022.

After his arrest, police administered a breathalyzer test, which showed Benson had a blood alcohol content of 0.14%, nearly twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.

“I do not dispute the procedure or the test results,” Benson, of Plymouth, wrote in his guilty plea.

Benson’s petition asks to set aside a 30-day jail sentence and place him on probation for one year. Sentencing has yet to be determined.

The stop came two days before Benson announced his resignation as chief prosecutor amid a federal investigation into allegations of tax evasion. He was sentenced in May to three years’ probation and ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service $213,591.81 in restitution.