Ala. gubernatorial candidate Sparks' campaign head resigns over DUI

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The manager of Ron Sparks' campaign for governor, Sharon Wheeler, has resigned after being charged with driving under the influence.

Wheeler said she doesn't want her arrest early Thursday in Montgomery to distract from the agriculture commissioner's campaign.

A police report shows Wheeler was stopped for illegal lane usage, and police found that her blood alcohol level exceeded .08 percent.

Sparks issued a statement Friday saying he agreed with Wheeler's decision to step down. "She is an extremely talented individual, who has done a tremendous job on my behalf and I hate to lose her," he said.

Sparks, who says he does not drink added, "Drinking and driving is a serious offense and can never be tolerated. Everyone makes mistakes. Sharon is entitled to a presumption of innocence and I will support her in any way that I can. I wish her only the best."

The campaign manager position will be assumed by Rick Dent, who has advised the campaign since January.

Sparks faces Artur Davis for the Democrat nomination in the June 1 primaries.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. WSFA 12 News contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.)