by Tara Morgan
Recently hired Boise Co-op general manager Ben Kuzma was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges early Sunday morning, Dec. 11.
According to Boise Police Department, officers spotted Kuzma’s vehicle crossing the center line into oncoming traffic while traveling east on Northview Street near Crestwood Drive Sunday morning around 2:40 a.m.
Police said Kuzma had “glassy, blood-shot eyes” and failed several field sobriety tests. He was then taken to the Ada County Jail, where he failed two separate breathalyzers, blowing .15 each time, which is almost twice the legal limit.
Boise Co-op hired Kuzma to replace long-time general manager Ken Kavanagh in May. Kavanagh also had a history of trouble with the law for driving under the influence. But at a contentious co-op board meeting in January, board member Pat Haas issued a statement saying Kavanagh's arrest wasn’t the rationale behind his termination:
“The recent decisions about the change of leadership ... had absolutely nothing to do with Ken's DUI in 2009 or the recent probation violations," said Haas.
Multiple calls to Boise Co-op this morning for comment remain unanswered.
When asked if there are currently plans to hold a special board meeting to discuss Kuzma's DUI, board member Rob Anderson had the following response:
"Not that I've been informed, but I have been talking with some folks, so I mean it's obviously on our radar screen and we want to make sure that we address it," said Anderson.
UPDATE: Kuzma was released early on Sunday, Dec. 11, on $500 bond and faces arraignment on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: Boise Co-op Media Director Michael Boss issued the following comment:
Boise Co-op has no statement to make to the media regarding the DUI arrest of its General Manager, Ben Kuzma, on early Sunday, Dec. 11. We consider this a personal rather than a personnel issue, and we choose to respect the privacy of our General Manager in a situation that did not involve his role at our store.