The Associated Press
CLEVELAND - A former suburban mayor found undressed and sleeping in a stranger's driveway said he doesn't remember the drunken episode that prompted him to check into an alcohol rehabilitation center.
"I blacked out. I don't remember a thing. ... God gave me a wake-up call," former Brook Park mayor Tom Coyne told the Plain Dealer on Saturday in a telephone interview from the Betty Ford Center in California. "I'm here because I need help. This is a serious illness."
In video captured by a police cruiser camera last week, Coyne is shown curled in a fetal position in a North Olmsted driveway, wearing a watch but no shirt, with his pants down to his ankles.
Coyne, 54, did not elaborate for the newspaper about the history of his alcohol problem, but said he felt good physically. He said he expected to be in the clinic at least a month.
"In my 20 years as mayor I helped a lot of people and at this time I need some help myself," he said. "I'll come back to Cleveland and be with my family and friends and be a productive member of the community again."
Coyne's friends told the Plain Dealer they believed the former mayor, who stepped down from office three years ago, was having a difficult time making the transition from public to private life.
Coyne said there was some truth to that.
"You should see this coming," he said. "But you don't."
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