Richmond Councilman E. Martin Jewell was arrested early yesterday and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, Richmond police said.

The 5th District councilman was arrested about 1:30 a.m. near Byrd Park, about a mile from his Maplewood Avenue home.

Jewell was released later in the morning on a $500 bond, an officer at the Richmond city lockup said. Police did not release further details about the arrest.

Jewell said in a statement that, on advice of counsel, he wasn't going to comment until tomorrow. He reiterated that stance in a brief phone conversation.

"I look forward to all the facts being made public," he said in his written statement.

The past few months have been tumultuous for Jewell, who was first elected in 2004 to represent the district, which includes the Randolph and Byrd Park areas north of the James River and part of Hull Street on South Side.

In August, his nephew Jimar Lee Jewell was charged in a shooting on the Virginia Union University campus in which a student was wounded. Martin Jewell said at the time that the news of his sister's son's arrest was a shock to him.

Richmond City Council President Kathy C. Graziano of the 4th District said yesterday that she couldn't comment on yesterday's arrest because she didn't know details about the case.

Councilwoman Betty L. Squire of the 7th District said she was surprised to hear about the arrest.

"I don't know anything on that," she said.

"I am surprised, but I would definitely like to see the evidence before I can comment."

Jewell, a longtime activist and owner of a residential cleaning service, ran unsuccessfully for the 5th District council seat in 1998 and 2002.

Contact Luz Lazo at (804) 649-6058 or

Staff writers Katherine Calos and Bill McKelway contributed to this report.

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