Earlier in the night, before Andrew DuRoss' DUI arrest, police had warned the Schaumburg School District 54 superintendent not to drive away from a Naperville restaurant, authorities said.
"I made a mistake. I took full responsibility of my actions," DuRoss said when reached Wednesday. "I don't think it's representative of my character as a person or educator."
DuRoss, 46, was charged Feb. 1 in Naperville with driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08, according to Naperville police Sgt. Bill Davis.
A former school principal, DuRoss was the district's assistant superintendent for human resources before being named superintendent at District 54. This is his first school year leading the elementary school system with 27 schools. On Wednesday, district officials expressed support for the schools chief.
"We're monitoring the whole situation closely," said Bill Harper, school board president. "He's innocent until proven guilty. He immediately called every board member, called each and every one of us."
DuRoss, who lives in Naperville, said he was out to dinner with his wife and another couple Jan. 31.
The superintendent declined to discuss the incident further, but police say managers in a restaurant at 244 S. Main St. first called at 12:21 a.m. Feb. 1 to report a disturbance with an intoxicated person.
Davis said two officers went to the scene, where DuRoss had told restaurant employees that a purse was missing from his table. The conversation with restaurant workers became "heated," prompting police intervention, Davis said. It's unclear to whom the purse belonged.
A manager reached at Sullivan's Steakhouse at the listed address declined to comment.
DuRoss eventually calmed down, and police warned him not to drive as they left the scene, authorities said. No charges were filed.
About 30 minutes after police were first called, at 12:53 a.m., the same officers spotted DuRoss driving a white Ford with a passenger in the front seat.
"Several minutes later, he was seen driving downtown in a vehicle. One of the officers recognized him driving," Davis said.
After performing field sobriety tests, police arrested DuRoss near South Washington Street and East Jefferson Avenue, about two blocks from the restaurant, Davis said.
DuRoss' blood-alcohol level was 0.117, according to DuPage County court records.
He was given a $3,000 bond, said Michael DiSanto, Naperville city prosecutor.
Cook and DuPage county records show a person with the same name and birth year with 10 traffic violations, including multiple speeding and expired license plate citations, as well as one ticket for improper lane usage and another for lack of insurance or proof of insurance. Those offenses span 20 years; the most recent was a speeding ticket from September 2013.
DuRoss did not return calls or emails seeking comment on those traffic violations.
Meanwhile, the school board said it is confident in the superintendent.
"He's a quality person. He's admitted to his mistakes," Harper said.
Harper said DuRoss has never had any disciplinary problems in his 12-year tenure at the elementary school system. He said the board has discussed the issue in closed session.
"We obviously don't condone drinking and driving, but it wasn't on school time or school property or anything involved with children," Harper said. "There's no policy talking about what he does on a Friday night."
DuRoss said he has no plans to step down. He is scheduled to appear in court next on March 4.
Freelance reporters Clifford Ward and George Houde contributed.