Kecia Cunnigham – the long-serving Decatur commissioner and the state's first openly LGBT African-American elected official – was arrested for driving drunk after enjoying cocktails and a cigar and driving barefoot through the city.
Decatur police arrested Cunnigham (mugshot above) shortly after midnight on June 11 when an officer spotted her driving a Lexus convertible erratically on Sam's Crossing in Decatur. When she was stopped, Cunningham told Officer M. Johns she was heading home after enjoying a “cigar and a glass of wine” at the Capitol City Cigar Cub on Roswell Road, according to a police incident report.
Decaturish first reported Cunningham's arrest on Wednesday.
Cunningham would not make eye contact with Johns, slurred her speech and blamed her erratic driving on something that “happened near my feet,” according to the incident report. Cunningham stumbled through several field sobriety tests, Johns wrote in his report, and when pressed about her alcohol consumption she then admitted to drinking a glass of wine and a vodka with cranberry.
At the Decatur Police Department, Cunningham registered a blood alcohol level of .147, which is nearly twice the legal limit in Georgia of .08.
Cunningham told Decaturish she was “embarrassed” by the arrest.
Cunningham said she is “embarrassed” by the arrest and said she will not contest the charges. She told Decaturish the arrest occurred in the evening after she had finished having dinner. She was driving on East College Avenue when she was pulled over for failure to maintain her lane.
Records show she was booked into jail at 2:16 a.m. on June 11 and booked out at 5:20 p.m.
The commissioner said she was treated fairly by the arresting officer.
“He was doing his job, and I was thankful for that,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham added, “I accept responsibility and intend to accept the consequences. I anticipate this will be handled as any other matter, and I am embarrassed. It’s a personal matter that I’m embarrassed by.”
Cunningham made history in 1999 when she was first elected to the Decatur City Commission. She identified as a lesbian and was the first-ever openly gay black elected official in Georgia. She often cruised to re-election – winning a fourth term in 2011 with 98 percent of the vote – and is the second longest-serving commissioner in the city.
In 2013, fellow commissioners named her mayor pro tem – the city's second-highest elected official – and she said she now identifies as bisexual. Her term ends in 2015. Cunningham is an associate financial representative with Northwestern Mutual, according to the city's website.
[h/t Georgia Voice]