UK basketball special assistant Rod Strickland arrested on driver's license charge

dmoore@herald-leader.com jkegley@herald-leader.comAugust 2, 2012 

Rod Strickland, special assistant to University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of driving on a suspended license, failure to signal and having no vehicle registration, according to the Fayette County Detention Center's Web site.

Strickland, 46, was arrested at East Maxwell Street and South Martin Luther King Boulevard, according to the jail's online report of inmates booked in the past 48 hours. He was released on bond about 11 a.m.

A UK athletics spokesman issued a statement about an hour later saying officials were investigating whether the arrest was the result of a clerical error. Strickland had been arrested in Lexington in 2010 for driving under the influence but had gotten his license reinstated the following year, according to court documents.

However, when a police officer pulled him over as Strickland was driving to work Thursday, his license showed up as suspended when the officer ran his information through the National Crime Information Center database, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Spokespeople from transportation and safety cabinets in Tennessee and Kentucky said his license suspension stemmed from problems in Tennessee, not his 2010 DUI.

Dalya Qualls, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, said, "The information we have in our records is that his license has been suspended since 2011 for failure to maintain proof of insurance."

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Ryan Watts said the state was notified that Strickland failed to pay a $190 fee in Tennessee related to a DUI he incurred there several years ago.

There is "reciprocity" between the states, meaning each honors the other's license suspensions, he said.

"The bottom line is his license is currently suspended," Watts said.

In October 2007, Strickland was pulled over after an officer in Collierville, Tenn., near Memphis, saw him run a flashing red signal while he was intoxicated, according to a complaint filed in a Shelby County, Tenn., court. At that time, his license had been suspended in Maryland, the document said.

Strickland pleaded guilty to that DUI the following year.

He was pulled over in Lexington on April 12, 2010, after he ran a red light at Tates Creek and New Circle roads, according to court documents. He surrendered his driver's license and pleaded guilty to DUI the following September.

To get a driver's license reinstated in Kentucky after a DUI offense, the offender must complete an alcohol education program and pay a $40 reinstatement fee.

According to Strickland's driving records, he completed the program April 19, 2011, and paid the fee a week later. His license was reinstated April 26, 2011, and a new license was issued that day.

Several months later, the state was notified he had the unpaid fee in Tennessee, Watts said.

The state of Kentucky sent Strickland a letter Oct. 11 notifying him of the outstanding fee, Watts said. Kentucky sent Strickland another letter in January, but officials never heard back, Watts said.

Strickland was pulled over in Lexington on Thursday on his way to work after an officer noticed he failed to use his turn signal. Strickland told UK officials his license and registration were current, UK Athletics spokesman DeWayne Peevy said in a statement.

"Rod Strickland was pulled over this morning in Lexington on a routine traffic stop on the way to the office," the statement said. "According to police reports, he was pulled over for failure to signal and for driving with a suspended license.

"According to Strickland, his vehicle was properly registered, and he produced his driver's license at the scene. We are currently gathering information on whether his license was suspended due to a clerical error which led to his arrest."

A 17-year NBA veteran, Strickland was demoted to special assistant to Calipari after the 2010 DUI arrest. He had been a full-time assistant on Calipari's first staff at UK after working with the coach at Memphis.

Daniel Moore: (859) 231-3344. Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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