The former chief of the Columbia Police Department pleaded guilty Friday morning to driving with excessive blood alcohol content.

Ken Burton didn't appear in municipal court at the hearing but was represented by his attorney, Andrew Popplewell. Burton was originally charged with a DWI and failure to yield.

The prosecutor decided to drop the failure to yield charge. Burton pleaded guilty to the Class B misdemeanor charge of driving with excessive blood alcohol content.

Burton was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $149.50 in court costs.

DWI enforcement officers stopped Burton at the intersection of Broadway and McBaine Avenue in May.

Burton resigned from the Columbia Police Department after being placed on leave by then-interim City Manager John Glascock in December 2018.

The Columbia Missourian reported last December on Burton's history of frequent tardiness and missing events while drinking at a local bar.

Before his resignation, several groups — including the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and Race Matters, Friends — had also called for Burton to quit.

  • Investigative and courthouse reporter. I am a senior pre-law student studying data journalism at The University of Missouri's School of Journalism. Reach me at or @ByHunterGilbert on Twitter

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