The ''West Wing'' exec producer awaits arraignment

By Lori Reese
Updated April 19, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Aaron Sorkin: Mark J. Terrell/AP

Emmy winning ”West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin got a taste of the sort of controversy that heats up his critically adored NBC series. He was arrested Sunday at California’s Burbank Airport for drug possession. The 40 year old exec producer was en route to Las Vegas when police found a quantity of hallucinogenic mushrooms in his carry on luggage, according to an airport spokesman. Sorkin was detained for three hours and then released on $10,000 bail. He is awaiting an April 30 arraignment. ”I am glad to be surrounded by such a supportive group of people and am prepared to proceed as directed by my attorney and in the best interest of my family,” Sorkin said in a statement released via his representative, Tracy Shaffer of PMK Public Relations.

Since ”West Wing” first aired in 1999, Sorkin has become known as one of television’s hottest writer / creators. Last year the White House drama garnered nine Emmy awards, including Best Drama series, and the program continues to dominate its Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot for ratings among adults. ”West Wing” is scheduled to receive another award on April 26 at New York’s Tavern on the Green — ironically enough, from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. (The award is honoring the show’s accuracy and sensitivity in depicting alcoholism.) ”West Wing” is currently shooting its season finale; the next new episode airs April 25.