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Former Lawmaker Sentenced to Six Days in Jail for Drunken Driving

A Travis County judge on Friday sentenced former state representative Jack Stick to six days in jail and a 90-day driver's license suspension for driving while intoxicated, according to prosecutors.

Jack Stick, former chief counsel of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, sits inside a Travis County courtroom during his 2015 trial for a 2012 DWI arrest.

* Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

A Travis County judge on Friday sentenced former state representative Jack Stick to six days in jail and a 90-day driver's license suspension for driving while intoxicated, according to prosecutors.

Stick, who at the time of his arrest was deputy inspector general at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, was convicted of drunken driving on Monday after a three-year legal battle. During that time, Stick was promoted to the agency's chief counsel and was then asked to resign after a series of contracting controversies. 

At the Travis County criminal court in Austin Friday, Stick listened silently as Judge Nancy Hohengarten discussed the sentencing with Stick's lawyer and with Greg Burton, the assistant Travis County district attorney prosecuting the case. Burton pushed for a stronger sentence —  jail time or an 18-month probation period, as well as community service and counseling — but Hohengarten said she felt a lighter sentence was fair. 

Stick’s blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest was 0.096, above the legal limit of 0.08, according to a chemist who handled the material and testified during the case. Burton emphasized Stick’s blood alcohol level repeatedly in his opening and closing arguments. 

"The only real issue in this case is whether he was intoxicated," Burton told the jury last week. "You’re going to hear evidence that the defendant’s blood alcohol content was above .08 — and you must find that that person was intoxicated."

Austin lawyer Brian Roark, who represented Stick, tried during the trial to shed doubt on the blood alcohol level test, which he called extremely fallible. Roark emphasized that the blood sample had been stored for several years before it was tested. He also told jurors the officer likely didn’t have probable cause to arrest Stick in the first place. 

At the time of Stick’s arrest, he was "as sober as you and I are here today,” Roark told the jury last week. Roark did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the sentencing on Friday.

Stick was arrested on Sept. 11, 2012, after he refused to take a slate of sobriety tests he told the arresting officer would “only serve to incriminate” him. 

In December, he resigned from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission as a result of controversies surrounding multimillion-dollar no-bid contracts his office gave to private technology companies. One of those companies, 21 Century Technologies Inc., received a $110 million contract. Stick’s former business partner was a lobbyist for the company, and Stick helped to facilitate the deal.

Stick, a Republican, represented part of Austin in the Texas House from 2003 to 2005.

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