At a news conference in response to the alleged domestic dispute, Bettis' father-in-law, Bill McClure, defended his son-in law.
"My wife and I have been with him since this past Sunday and know that Lee did not injure or harm our daughter of grandchildren," McClure said. "We know he will continue working hard to provide a safe and nurturing home for them. We, the family, at this time, are asking for your prayers and to respect our privacy, and to allow us, as a family, a time for healing."'
The DWI arrest and the alleged domestic assault prompted Bettis' business manager, Susan Namowicz, to announce that the New Bern mayor would be taking two-month leave of absence "to take care of his family."
But Bettis later notified City Manager Mike Epperson that he decided not to take his leave. Instead, he would not attend city meetings for about 6 weeks.
Two New Bern aldermen, Victor Taylor and Dana Outlaw, then requested a special meeting to discuss the Bettis controversy. Outlaw also called for the mayor to step down permanently.
"My judgment is, he needs to resign. That's my judgment call. You know, I just can't sit around and do nothing. I mean the leadership of the city is in question," Outlaw told NewsChannel 12. "Maybe we could come to closure. Let's get a hair sample and a urine sample and see what this is all about. I want to support my mayor. I want to continue to see this city run. But at the same time, if the situation is such that it impairs the ability of our mayor to run our city, we need to seriously look at other options."
Outlaw went on to say, "I don't wish this on anybody. I just would like to get it past us. New Bern is a beautiful city. This is not the kind of publicity any of us want."
The DWI arrest isn't Bettis' first run-in with the law. He was previously found not guilty of assaulting a woman almost three years ago.
Bettis was accused of grabbing the arms of Maria Maynard and shaking her at a YMCA pool in June, 2010. But a lifeguard testified that Bettis did not touch Maynard.
The judge also dismissed a disorderly conduct charge.
Bettis was elected as New Bern's mayor in 2009. He announced in late February that he will not run for a second term, saying he has done everything he set out to do.