Jon Barber pleads guilty to DWI

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 15, 2011

SALISBURY — County Commissioner Jon Barber pleaded guilty this morning to driving while impaired in connection with a May accident on Graham Road.
He received unsupervised probation. A visiting District Court judge heard the plea and sentenced Barber. Local judges withdrew from the case because they know or are familiar with Barber.
After driving his car into a ditch near N.C. 150, Barber was also charged with driving left of center and failing to maintain lane control after he wrecked his vehicle. The arrest warrant said he failed a field sobriety test.
Barber refused an alcohol breath test at the scene so authorities had blood drawn at Rowan Regional Medical Center.
This is Barber’s second impaired driving conviction. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired after a Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputy found the county commissioner passed out in his car at the corner of Sherrills Ford and Long Branch roads.
He was sentenced to two years of probation in that case.
He admitted in May 2010 to a problem with alcohol after resigning from his teaching job amid allegations he was drunk in a classroom full of students.
Barber appeared Thursday in Rowan County District Court on a misdemeanor larceny charge in connection with the April theft of a bottle of wine from a convenience store. That case was continued to Oct. 4.
Authorities say that on April 10, Barber stole a $2.99 bottle of Wild Irish Rose wine from the Rushco store at 601 W. Jake Alexander Blvd.
The Salisbury Police Department reported an employee at the convenience store said someone stole a bottle of wine and drank it in the men’s restroom early on a Sunday morning.
Judge Beth Dixon said in court that local judges had recused themselves from the case, and it will be heard by a visiting judge.
Barber attended an inpatient rehabilitation program for alcoholism from mid-May through mid-June of this year.