Tony La Russa, new Chicago White Sox’s manager, was charged with DUI a day before his hiring was announced

 Tony La Russa, new Chicago White Sox’s manager, was charged with DUI a day before his hiring was announced

The charges were filed on October 28 in Maricopa County Justice Courts, the day before the White Sox announced La Russa as the team’s new manager.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the delay in filing the charges, saying only that the case was referred to the office by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

“The White Sox were aware (of the charges at the time of La Russa’s hiring),” a spokesman for the White Sox told CNN. “Because this is an active case, we cannot comment further at this time.”

La Russa is charged with two misdemeanors, driving under the influence and registering a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on October 29, and his attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

A Hall of Fame manager, the 76-year-old La Russa is coming out of retirement to manage the White Sox. He managed three major league teams, including the White Sox from 1979 to 1986, before retiring in 2011.

The incident took place on February 24 when a passerby called police and reported La Russa’s SUV was unable to maintain its lane and had collided with a curb, leaving it smoking on the roadside, according to court documents.

Responding to the call, an Arizona state trooper found La Russa outside of his SUV with one of its tires blown out, according to court documents. La Russa told the officer that he had just come from a dinner with friends from the Los Angeles Angels, according to a probable cause statement from the officer. La Russa was employed by the Angels at the time as a special adviser.

The officer detected “a light odor of alcoholic beverage” and after conducting a field sobriety test, La Russa was arrested, the statement said.

According to the statement, La Russa declined to provide a sample of his blood, breath or urine for testing. The statement said police obtained a search warrant and a blood sample taken from La Russa had an alcohol concentration of 0.095, above the legal limit of 0.08.

La Russa pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI in 2007 in Florida while he was the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As a manager, La Russa won the World Series three times in his 33-season career, first with the Oakland Athletics in 1989, and then with the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011.

He is third all-time with 2,728 wins, behind Hall of Famers Connie Mack and John McGraw. La Russa led teams to 12 first-place finishes, and six pennants. La Russa was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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