Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith issued an official apology at Thursday night’s council meeting for his actions related to his multiple recent arrests for shoplifting.

Keith opened the meeting by saying how much he’s reflected over the past seven days and apologized to the city and the public for being a “distraction.” The District 1 councilman is accused of shoplifting from several Walmarts in the Huntsville area on 31 separate occasions. He was first arrested last Thursday and charged with fourth-degree theft of property amounting to $500 or less. He was again arrested and booked into Madison County Jail Wednesday morning on four counts of misdemeanor theft of property worth less than $500.

“What you are looking at is a maturing of a man, a tough moment. I cannot explain to you,” Keith said. “So I'll be briefed by saying this: first, I am sorry to every city employee, every director I've had lunch with, moved heavens and earth with to make a difference in my community, I'm sorry, To every police officer that was impacted, every city employee that was impacted by the ripple effects of situations in my life. That's not in your job description. I'm sorry to every colleague who I've talked to personally, who might have distractions have been inundated with calls and cares, and concerns and perspectives. That's not in your job description, either. You are here to do the business of the city. I am also sorry to my family. I have a mother. I have a grandmother whose tears I wish I could get back."

He continued: “Most importantly, I'm sorry to my community because this is never about a man but the mission, one I believe in wholeheartedly, and right now, as I speak to you from my heart, I love you. Because the spotlight that is on me should be on you at all times, and I will never stand in the way to be a distraction from the success that you were seeing. It is so easy to have no comment, it's so easy to hide, but in this moment, I will be accountable…

“I've renewed a focus into who I am is Devyn Keith. And the only thing I can maintain is that in this moment, I promise to be a better man tomorrow than I am today in the public eye. So, I didn’t come here to discuss anything. That's what court is for. What I've owed you is accountability, and I will never be distracting from the business of this great city.”

Following his apology statement, Keith recused himself for the remainder of the council meeting.

“I promise you there will be a better Devyn tomorrow than there is today," he concluded. "… You can still call me if I need to pave your street. I will be accountable to every email of why it tracks. I picked up late. But after my comments today, I will not be a distraction… I love you, and I’ll see you soon.”

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