An elected Washington County commissioner who also serves as a reserve police officer in Eastport was summoned over the weekend on a charge of drunken driving, according to his defense attorney.
Chris Gardner has been chairman of the Washington County Commission since 2007 and, prior to being elected to the commission in 2004, worked for more than a decade as a deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, according to his commissioner bio on Washington County’s official website.
For the past several years, Gardner has served as a reserve officer for the Eastport Police Department. Gardner did not respond to messages from the Bangor Daily News asking about the alleged drunken driving incident.
Jeff Davidson, a Machias-based defense attorney, confirmed on Thursday that he is representing Gardner in the matter. He said Gardner was given a written summons — not arrested — over the weekend on a charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants.
Davidson said he has not yet seen a police report on the alleged charge, and doesn’t yet know a lot of details about the allegations. Gardner was given a written summons in a parking area off the side of Route 1 somewhere between Eastport and Edmunds, where Gardner lives, by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Davidson said.
A formal charge of OUI has yet to be filed in court by the Washington County District Attorney’s office, Davidson said.
Sheriff Barry Curtis declined to comment Thursday.
Washington County District Attorney Robert Granger also declined to comment Thursday on the matter, saying he cannot confirm whether any case is being reviewed by his office before a formal charge is filed in court.
Davidson said he hopes this week to see what, if any, formal charges are filed in court against Gardner by the district attorney.
“If it is fair and reasonable, we’re going to deal with it as quickly as we can,” Davidson said about resolving possible formal charges.
Mark Emery, chief of the Eastport Police Department, did not respond Thursday to a message asking about Gardner’s current status with the department.
In addition to serving as a county commissioner and a police officer, Gardner was executive director of the Eastport Port Authority from 2007 through the end of last year, when he announced he was leaving the post to work for a private company.