Monticello District Court Judge Ken Harper pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to DWI on prescribed medication before Special District Judge Kim Bridgforth, who heard the case after Lincoln County District Judge Vic Harper, Ken Harper’s brother, recused.

Harper was arrested in July for DWI (first offense) public intoxication/drinking in public, driving left of center, and refusal to submit to chemical test in Lincoln County.

In the plea agreement, all charges were merged with the DWI on prescribed drugs and Harper was fined $510, ordered to pay $320 in court costs, and credited for the one day in jail, which he had already served.

“I pled guilty to DWI for a prescription drug I had taken,” Harper said in an interview with Seark Today after the hearing. “I made a mistake and I placed myself in a situation I shouldn’t have. I didn’t have the right to put the public at risk. I want to thank the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department for their professionalism and courtesy in dealing with the situation; they were very polite and they did their job they way were supposed to.”

Harper’s sentence (fine) was similar, no better and no worse, than other first offense DWI cases in Lincoln County. Harper is back on the bench in Monticello District Court after being off for about a month.