Statements shed light on night of mayor's arrest

Jun. 30, 2013 @ 07:55 AM

Public records show Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner demanded to be served wine the night of her DWI arrest, according to restaurant employee statements taken by Waxhaw Police.

A public information request to the Town of Waxhaw also revealed Gardner paid for alcohol with her town-issued credit card.

There are two statements made by bar employees to Waxhaw Police about Gardner’s condition on the night of her arrest.

The first statement was given by Denise Keech, an employee at Nick’s Steak and Taphouse. Keech said Gardner and a man walked into the bar at about 10:30 p.m. Gardner asked several times for some wine, but the bar employees told her the computers were shut down and the cash registers were closed out.

Keech continued, stating that she used to tend the bar at Maxwell’s, another bar and restaurant in Waxhaw, and “was used to the way she acted.”

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“Daune did not look very drunk to me, because when I have seen her drunk she slurs her words, her hair is usually in her face and her clothes start to fall off,” Keech stated.

When refused wine, Keech said Gardner asked if she knew how much business the restaurant could get from town advertising and events.

The second statements was by Raphael Rogers, co-owner of Nick’s and also present in the restaurant when Gardner and the man were there. Rogers stated to the officer that Gardner appeared to have been drinking. She told Rogers “they had a bottle of wine with dinner.”

Rogers stated Gardner asked for a glass of wine several times, but he said the restaurant was closed. He gave her a glass of water instead.

“She then said really you’re going to be like, don’t make me call Nick because he will make you serve me the wine...” Rogers stated.

He then called the owner, Nick, who told him not to serve Gardner. She stayed about 25 minutes before leaving.

Rogers gave another account of Gardner coming into the restaurant on June 7.

“...(T)he Mayor was at the restaurant and became belligerent towards me,” Rogers said. “She told me that I need to get this f****** wine, this is my f****** favorite wine and you don’t know s*** about wine, I could have made a better wine list. While she was saying this, she was poking her finger into my chest.”

Rogers stated that Nick paid for Gardner’s bill so she would leave.

Shortly after the restaurant opened, Rogers said Gardner came to the restaurant to welcome them to Waxhaw.

“While she was here she told me that we need to watch out for the police,” Rogers stated. “She told me that the police were a bunch of a**holes. They are quick to pull people over and that they will be your biggest issue.”

Rogers also stated Gardner told him that if the Waxhaw Police became a problem, he should befriend an N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper.

“Have them come to the bar to drink and have the Trooper set up and wait for them to leave,” Rogers said.

“She then said that she was going to make sure the police got there (sic) new building to get them away from here,” Rogers stated.

Records also show that Gardner bought alcohol with a town credit card at least three times. On Sept. 20, 2012, records show she charged $12 for a glass of wine at The Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill. On Jan. 20, 2013, she charged $6 for Miller Lite from the mini bar at Hotel Lombardy in Washington, D.C. And on Feb. 11, 2013, she charged $12 for alcohol from the Busy Bee Cafe in Raleigh.

Town policies do not allow council members to use town-issued credit cards to purchase alcohol. Policy also requires council members to provide an itemized receipt of what they bought. Twelve were submitted without itemized receipts. In four cases, receipts were missing.