Waxhaw town commissioners may censure Mayor Daune Gardner following her arrest this month on a driving while impaired charge, where Union County court records show her blood-alcohol content level was 0.18., more than twice the legal limit.
Gardner faces an Aug. 15 court date.
At a town meeting Tuesday, Gardner recused herself and left the room when commissioners began discussing censure-related procedures. Commissioner Joyce Blythe said Gardner should do “the decent thing” and resign.
“I have to wonder how many other times you have been out there on the highway in an intoxicated state and didn’t get caught. How many other lives have you endangered?” Blythe asked. “You have become a huge liability to the town of Waxhaw, and it can no longer be tolerated.”
The board is expected to revisit the issue at a coming meeting.
Gardner, 41, was arrested by a member of the town’s police force, Officer Kaitlin Robillard. At about 12:35 a.m. on June 10, Robillard saw a car on N.C. 16 in Waxhaw near Sunset Hill Road cross the center line several times, according to court records.
“The driver had moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath, had slurred speech and red glassy eyes,” Robillard wrote in her report.
Gardner was taken to Union County Jail and released about 80 minutes later on a written promise to appear at her court date, records show.
Gardner declined to comment. At a town meeting June 11, the day after her arrest, she briefly apologized to the community, board and staff.
This is not the first time the mayor has faced a drunken driving charge.
She was charged with driving under the influence in Lancaster County, S.C., in September 2008, the Observer reported at the time.
WSOC-TV reported that Gardner has said the South Carolina case was dismissed and the charges were expunged.
Gardner is serving her second four-year term as mayor of the fast-growing western Union County town of 10,300. Her term expires in 2015, and Town Manager Michael McLaurin said Gardner’s annual salary as mayor is $10,099 in the coming fiscal year.
Gardner is the owner of Creative Plus, a graphics design firm in Waxhaw, according to the shop’s website.
Researcher Marion Paynter and correspondent Jane Duckwall contributed.
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