Nan Johnston taken to jail after blowing .110
arkville Mayor Nan Johnston was arrested early Saturday morning, Sept. 26 for allegedly driving while intoxicated.
Major Erik Holland of the Platte County Sheriff’s Department says the arresting deputy observed a vehicle being driven by Johnston southbound on Hwy. 9 in the area of Eastside Drive, which is a short distance north of Hwy. 45 near the edge of the Parkville city limits. The deputy was also southbound on Hwy. 9.
According to the sheriff’s department, after noting erratic driving that authorities say included crossing the center line, the deputy conducted a traffic stop at Eastside Drive around 1:18 a.m. Saturday.
Authorities say after sobriety testing conducted roadside in which Johnston’s blood alcohol content (BAC) measured .110 on a portable breath test, she was arrested for DWI at 1:34 a.m.
The mayor was taken to the Platte County Jail for booking.
Holland said in all DWI cases, the portable breath test number is not admissible in court. He said the court-admissible test is always conducted on what is known as a DMT, a high tech breath testing machine, at the jail.
Holland said the blood alcohol content test taken at the jail at 2:23 a.m., a little more than an hour after the car stop, showed Johnston’s BAC at .098.
In Missouri, the legal limit for driving is .080.
Johnston, 60, posted $1,000 bond and was released from jail at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to public records.
Johnston’s initial court date on the charge is currently set for January, though that is likely to change as the process moves forward, Holland said.
The Landmark was the first news outlet to report Johnston’s arrest, breaking the story Sunday on the newspaper’s web site at www.plattecountylandmark.com.
The Landmark reached out to Johnston for comment but she has not responded. Fox 4 News reported Monday evening that Johnston told them off-camera that her attorney has advised her “not to talk to reporters” about the incident.
On Tuesday afternoon, Parkville City Administrator Joe Parente sent The Landmark an email, which he defined as “a statement from the City of Parkville and Board of Aldermen.”
The statement says: “The City of Parkville and Board of Aldermen will not be speaking about Mayor Johnston’s incident over the weekend. This is the time to trust the legal process. We will continue to focus on serving Parkville residents and businesses.”
Alderman Dave Rittman made brief comments to The Landmark about the situation on Monday (see related story).
Johnston is in her third term as mayor. She was first elected mayor in 2014 and was re-elected in 2016, the first year that the mayor’s position became a three-year term. She was re-elected again in 2019. Prior to running for mayor, she served six years as a ward four alderman.
Earlier this year, the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) found Johnston and the Committee to Elect Nan Johnston guilty on four counts of violating state ethics laws and ordered her to pay a fine. The MEC ordered that a fine of $5,242 be imposed, but said it will “stay” much of that fine if Johnston pays $524 of that fee and avoids any further violations of campaign finance laws for a two year period.
The MEC ruled that Johnston’s reports contained multiple inaccuracies and she was late disclosing expenditures and contributions, including a $5,000 donation from a developer.