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Waxhaw Mayor Faces Investigation, DWI Charge

Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner is facing possible censure. She was arrested for DWI earlier this month. Town commissioners have voted unanimously to launch an investigation.

Daune Gardner was roundly criticized at Tuesday night’s meeting by citizens and commissioners, many of them calling on her to resign.

“The mayor has become a detrimental liability to Waxhaw in more ways than one," says Commissioner Michael Stewart.

Fellow board member Sean Poccia says, “I will never again refer to her as Mayor Daune Gardner. Out of respect, it will be out of obligation.”

It was revealed at the meeting that the mayor violated town policy by charging $31 of wine and beer to her town credit card over the past year. Poccia says he does not know if Gardner has reimbursed the town for the alcohol.

The censure process will start with hiring an outside counsel to investigate the mayor’s expenses.

Poccia says, “based on our preliminary investigation, there are a litany of violations in regard to our policies, policies that we have…that the mayor herself has signed and agreed to uphold . So, we’re going to go back as far as we can. All the way through 2013, through 2012…” 

The commission also voted to suspend Gardner’s use of the town credit card during Tuesday’s meeting.

The police report from the mayor’s June 10 arrest says she had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit. She had been accused of drunk driving in South Carolina 2008---also while in office----but that charge was later expunged.

After the outside investigation is complete, the board will vote on whether to censure Gardner. But, a censure would not force her to leave office.

The mayor did not respond to WFAE’s requests for an interview. She issued a statement on facebook saying she has no intention of resigning. Gardner says she will continue to serve with the "same vigor, grace, and poise...as required of any elected official." She’s scheduled to go to court in August.