Jon Barber charged with drunken driving

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rowan County Commissioner Jon Barber was charged with drunken driving after he was involved in a single-vehicle collision this evening.
The collision happened about 5:30 p.m. at Graham Road and N.C. 150, near his Mount Ulla home.
Barber, of 335 Umberger Road, refused a sobriety breath test and was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center for blood to be drawn for testing, according to an arrest warrant.
Trooper M.T. Eason said in his report that Barber was unsteady on his feet, had a slight odor of alcohol and slurred speech.
Barber was charged with driving while impaired and failing to maintain control of his vehicle. He was was given a written promise to appear, but he was being held in the Rowan County jail after he was charged at the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office.
Barber is also the subject of an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, which is looking into an allegation that Barber stole a bottle of wine from a local convenience store on April 10.
A police report said the investigation involves a $2.99 bottle of wine stolen around 6 a.m. — a Sunday morning — from the Rushco store at 601 W. Jake Alexander Blvd.
The April 10 incident isn’t the first time Barber — who won re-election in November — has faced possible criminal charges.
Former District Attorney Bill Kenerly considered charges after Barber was suspected of showing up drunk in his sixth-grade classroom at Southeast Middle School the morning of May 19, 2010.
Barber resigned from his teaching job with the Rowan-Salisbury School System the next day.
Barber told the Post at the time he left the school early that day and told administrators he was resigning “to pursue other opportunities.” He has since begun farming in western Rowan.
Barber also pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in June 2008 after being found in February of that year passed out in his car near the corner of Sherrills Ford and Long Branch roads. His blood-alcohol content measured .18, more than double the legal limit of .08.