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Joe Exotic's husband, Dillon Passage, was arrested Sunday in Travis County on charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, according to jail records.
Passage was a star in Netflix's breakout hit "Tiger King," a documentary series that explored the wild and sometimes criminal world of tiger breeding in the U.S. Exotic, 57, and Passage, 25, married in December 2017, which was depicted in a late episode in the series. Two months earlier, Exotic's previous husband Travis Maldonado fatally shot himself accidentally.
According to TMZ, Passage was stopped in Travis County by Manor police shortly after 3 a.m. After failing a field sobriety test, he was booked at 6:35 a.m. into Travis County Jail, where he is being held on a $3,000 bond. The charges are misdemeanor offenses.
Passage had posted a video of himself at an outdoor rooftop party on his Instagram earlier that night.
Exotic told TMZ, "I've tried my hardest to get him to quit drinking. I love him."
In a statement posted to Instagram, Exotic wrote he was "just glad no one was hurt learning (the) lesson that drinking and driving is something to take very seriously."
Exotic, legally named Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is serving a 22-year prison sentence for wildlife violations and a failed murder-to-hire plot against Carole Baskin, his long-time rival who runs a big cat sanctuary in Florida. Exotic was found guilty in April 2019, and is being held at Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, following a COVID episode in the spring that saw him transferred from an Oklahoma prison.
The story leading up to those charges was covered extensively in "Tiger King," a blockbuster series that garnered 34.3 million unique viewers in the first ten days after its debut in March.
Exotic denies the charges, and has asked President Donald Trump for either a commutation of his sentence or an outright pardon.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
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