alejandro toledo

San Mateo County

Ex-President Of Peru Calls Alleged Drunken Arrest In Menlo Park A Conspiracy

Tim Ryan
March 19, 2019 - 10:14 am

MENLO PARK — A former president of Peru denies that he was arrested for alleged public drunkenness in Menlo Park and instead, claims that the report was a conspiracy cooked up by his political foes. 

Alejandro Toledo, 73, was arrested in San Mateo County for being drunk at a restaurant on St. Patrick's Day in unincorporated Menlo Park, according to the San Mateo County sheriff's office. He was held overnight and released without charges being filed. 

He told the French news agency Reuters that he was not arrested on Sunday, and claimed that the whole story was a smear spread by his political opponents. 

Toledo, was president of Peru from 2001 through 2006, but has long been a fugitive in that country. He's wanted there for allegedly taking $20 million in bribes from a Brazilian construction firm while he was in office.  

The visiting Stanford scholar and Los Altos resident denies any wrongdoing and has been fighting extradition. 

San Mateo County Sheriff's spokeswoman Rosemary Blankswade claims that, despite what Toledo says, he most definitely was arrested and spent the night in jail. 

"When our deputies arrived, they determined that Mr. Toledo was in fact drunk and unable to care for himself," she said.  "So he was arrested. During the booking process we learned that he had a hit on his name for a message from Interpol, and that there were possibly charges against him from the country of Peru."

Toledo is battling an extradition order, but this incident will not cost him his right to stay in the United States, according to Blankswade. 

"The charges against him were nothing that we could hold him on. We did try to work with Peruvian officials to see if they were able to extradite him," she said to KCBS Radio. "They were unable to facilitate at that time, and we had no other charges against him."

Written by Diana Shook