District attorney admits allowing drunk driver to operate his vehicle

Jan 28, 2010 Full story: News-Topic 8

District Attorney Jay Gaither, who has made the prosecution of drunk drivers a cornerstone of his administration, acknowledged on Wednesday that he allowed an intoxicated man to operate a vehicle Gaither owns in an incident that occurred nearly a year ago.

Full Story
MADD Mother

Denver, NC

#1 Jan 28, 2010
"I apologize to the people of the district for my lapse in judgment, but also feel strongly that both my wife and I observed my friend that night and did not appreciate that he was significantly impaired," Gaither said in an e-mailed statement.
?? Were both Gaither and his wife also impaired? how could they miss this? Gaither and his wife should be able to tell when someone is drunk- why didn't Gaither or his wife drive their own car??? These folks have four young children- why would any parent risk their own life and let a drunk driver taxi them around. They sound like college kids at a frat party and not the fine upstanding citizens of the community they claim to be!
About Time

United States

#2 Jan 29, 2010
Jay has been touting the percentage of DWI convictions in Catawba County...unfortunately nowhere will you see or hear the numbers for the DWI and other serious driving offences which have been reduced to lesser charges and even dismissed.
How about those numbers Mr. G.? And be sure and give the names and personal connections you have with the ones that have been dismissed. Life is not fair nor equal in the DA's office in Catawba County.
MADD Mother

Denver, NC

#3 Jan 30, 2010
Lenoir News Topic Calls for Gaithers Resignation

Gaither’s actions prove he is unfit to serve as DA
by News-Topic Staff

“With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”

The often misquoted line – modified by Uncle Ben in the movie “Spider-Man”– actually first appeared in a 1962 comic that introduced the web-slinging hero. Whatever the source, the phrase serves as a reminder as to why we, in our capacity to elect our leaders, should demand the highest levels of integrity and openness from those who control the levers of our government.

Earlier this week, the News-Topic and The Observer News Enterprise in Newton documented that District Attorney Jay Gaither, by his own admission, allowed a man severely impaired by the effects of alcohol to get behind the wheel of Gaither’s automobile in the Buncombe County town of Black Mountain on Feb. 24, 2009. The man, identified as John Gold Borden Jr., was arrested that evening and determined to have a blood-alcohol level of .18, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Mr. Gaither – who thus far has avoided personally contacting the News-Topic despite repeated requests, opting instead to have Assistant District Attorney Eric Bellas issue an e-mailed comment on his behalf – claims Borden did not show signs of being drunk. This statement defies credulity and insults the intelligence of the people Mr. Gaither represents.

According to K.M. Dubowski, regarded as a leading expert on the medical aspects of alcohol use and the creator of a widely accepted “Stages of Alcohol Intoxication” chart, individuals in Mr. Borden’s condition have reached a level classified as “Confusion” that is marked by “increased muscular incoordination, staggering gait and slurred speech.” Or, as described by other medical publications, Mr. Borden’s blood-alcohol content was consistent with being “sloppy drunk.”

At this point, the News-Topic has not been able to verify whether or not Mr. Gaither was in the vehicle with Mr. Borden at the time of the criminal incident. Nevertheless, Mr. Gaither legally was culpable under North Carolina law for aiding and abetting an intoxicated driver. Though he was not charged for violating the law, Mr. Gaither placed the safety and well-being of Mr. Borden and the residents of Black Mountain at considerable risk. Imagine if Mr. Borden had wrecked, potentially injuring or even killing innocent people in the process.

As the chief legal affairs officer for Caldwell, Burke and Catawba counties, Mr. Gaither has a sworn duty to uphold the law. In fact, his Web site – headlined by the slogan “Protecting Our Families”– promotes an increase in DWI conviction rates during his tenure that began following his 2002 election and subsequent re-election four years later.

At the same time, however, Mr. Gaither consistently has exhibited an appalling lack of accountability and accessibility when questions arise concerning his personal actions and the department he directs. Mr. Gaither seems to have forgotten or never grasped that the people he serves (not to mention pay his salary) demand a level of integrity that is beyond reproach.

By letting a drunken person take to the streets, Mr. Gaither failed not only himself, but also the people he represents. As a result, it is the opinion of the News-Topic that Mr. Gaither should stand before the public, issue an apology for his blatant disregard for the law and resign his position.

The people of Caldwell, Burke and Catawba counties deserve a district attorney who understands the power of responsibility.
another madd mother

Greenville, SC

#4 Mar 20, 2010
Jay Gaither is terrible and his office does not do there job in convicting drunk drivers.

The trail is to start Monday March 22, 2010 in courtroom 4 at the catawba county courthouse. "The state vs Jonathan Burke" (who was charged with 2nd degree murder for the killing of Tamara Wallis on Sept. 3, 2008). Burke was not only 2 1/2 times the legal limit, but had several other illegal drugs in is system. NOW, since it is election time, the trail is about to start, ONLY GUESS WHAT, the rich Burke family (BURKE CHRISTIAN TOURS), who hold Jay Gaither in their back pockets(that's why Jonathan and his brother Timothy Aaron Burke have been getting away with drunk driving and other crimes since Jay Gaither has been in office)has already worked it out with the DA's office. Jonathan takes the guilty charge on Monday and the DA makes sure the judge offers a very very light sentence with WORK RELEASE asap, so this way Jonathan does not pay for the crime and Jay appears like he is convicting drunk drivers. WE ALL ARE NOT SAFE, because Jonathan and other drunks like him WILL BE BACK OUT DRINKING AND DRIVING as long as Jay Gaither goes for the power of money and could care less about the community he serves!
Vote Clark In

Elm City, NC

#5 Apr 14, 2010
Vote SHAWN CLARK DA. We need CHANGE! Lets retire Gaither so we don't have more victims of crime that are belittled by the failure to prosecute crime, back room plea deals and favors for friends.

Shawn Clark has the trial experience to put crooks away and close the revolving doors at the justice center.
Early voting starts Thursday April 15th. Get out an VOTE!
Ben Lookin

Greenville, SC

#6 Jan 14, 2011
Victim of Aaron

Greenville, SC

#7 Mar 27, 2011
I know that Jonathan got 13 years, BUT this post is a mirror of what happened to us in the courtroom Thursday.

What a broken system.
another madd mother wrote:
Jay Gaither is terrible and his office does not do there job in convicting drunk drivers.
The trail is to start Monday March 22, 2010 in courtroom 4 at the catawba county courthouse. "The state vs Jonathan Burke" (who was charged with 2nd degree murder for the killing of Tamara Wallis on Sept. 3, 2008). Burke was not only 2 1/2 times the legal limit, but had several other illegal drugs in is system. NOW, since it is election time, the trail is about to start, ONLY GUESS WHAT, the rich Burke family (BURKE CHRISTIAN TOURS), who hold Jay Gaither in their back pockets(that's why Jonathan and his brother Timothy Aaron Burke have been getting away with drunk driving and other crimes since Jay Gaither has been in office)has already worked it out with the DA's office. Jonathan takes the guilty charge on Monday and the DA makes sure the judge offers a very very light sentence with WORK RELEASE asap, so this way Jonathan does not pay for the crime and Jay appears like he is convicting drunk drivers. WE ALL ARE NOT SAFE, because Jonathan and other drunks like him WILL BE BACK OUT DRINKING AND DRIVING as long as Jay Gaither goes for the power of money and could care less about the community he serves!
rapiat

Lenoir, NC

#8 Jul 25, 2011
About Time wrote:
Jay has been touting the percentage of DWI convictions in Catawba County...unfortunately nowhere will you see or hear the numbers for the DWI and other serious driving offences which have been reduced to lesser charges and even dismissed.
How about those numbers Mr. G.? And be sure and give the names and personal connections you have with the ones that have been dismissed. Life is not fair nor equal in the DA's office in Catawba County.
good ol Jay has een accussd o forcibly penetating 3 yes three!!!! women his family who owns a beer packacging?distribution company and pai t havee him elected b/c they know he is NO GOOD

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