ryan crocker Texas A&M Dean, On Leave, Arrested in Hit and Run

WASHINGTON – Ambassador Ryan Crocker testifies during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee June 8, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (THE TEXAS TRIBUNE) – According to news reports, former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who is on leave from his position as dean of Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, is facing drunken driving charges in a hit-and-run incident in Spokane, Washington.

News broke on Thursday that Crocker had been arrested Aug. 14 after striking another vehicle while driving a 2009 Ford Mustang convertible. He reportedly pleaded not guilty in court the following day.

Crocker, a highly regarded career diplomat, has been on leave from A&M since President Obama tapped him to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan in April 2011. In his absence, Andrew Card, formerly President George W. Bush’s chief of staff, has served as acting dean, though the intention has clearly been for Crocker to resume the position upon his return from the Middle East.

In May 2012, Crocker announced that he would be stepping down from his post in Afghanistan earlier than planned, citing unspecified health issues.

Since then, A&M spokesman Jason Cook told the Tribune, the university has been in discussion with Crocker about his return, but no date has been set. Asked if the latest news from the Northwest could affect those plans, Cook demurred.

“We are still obtaining details related to this news report,” he said.

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