Wilson County Circuit Court Clerk Debbie Moss was at work this week despite being arrested early Sunday morning and charged with DUI, implied consent and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, according to Wilson County jail records.
Moss, 61, went through intake at the Wilson County jail just after midnight Sunday morning and was released without bond around 5:30 a.m.
Lebanon Police officer Jeremy Richardson responded to Lebanon Road after the department received calls about a hit and run incident at a fundraiser. The fundraiser, Leadership Wilson’s Dare to Dine event, utilized valet parking for the event.
The event features host families that hold dinner at their residence for guests, and then all guests and hosts meet at a central location for dessert. Alcohol is not provided by Leadership Wilson, but alcohol served in homes is at the discretion of hosts.
Richardson said three valet drivers testified they saw Moss get into her vehicle - a four-door Kia - and appeared to be impaired or under the influence. They said she drove to the end of a driveway where a gate is located, stopped and sped in reverse and struck a 2009 Chrysler Sebring, belonging to Dennis and Donna Vick.
The valet drives said they ran to check on Moss, who had exited the vehicle, and said she denied hitting another vehicle, walked back into the residence to retrieve her purse and left the property, according to Richardson.
Richardson said he and other officers, including some Mt. Juliet Police officers, then went to Moss’ residence and noticed “an obvious odor of an intoxicant normally associated with alcoholic beverages on and about her person.”
Richardson said Moss, who admitted she drove the vehicle to the fundraiser and consumed alcohol that day, was slow to answer questions about the accident and failed field sobriety tasks.
Richardson said Moss failed the nine-step walk and turn by not counting her steps aloud and not stepping heel-to-toe as instructed. She also failed the one-leg stand because she could not keep her balance and placed one foot on the ground to catch herself, as well as raised her arms for balance, according to Richardson.
Richardson also said the group inspected the Kia and found damage on the rear passenger side consistent with witness statements at the scene.
Moss refused a chemical test and was transported for booking just after midnight.
Moss referred all questions to her attorney, Frank Lannom.
“Debbie Moss had been at home with her husband approximately two hours before the police arrived. Anything they saw was not in connection with her driving impaired,” Lannom said. “The accusations against Ms. Moss of being an impaired driver are not founded in fact or law. She should have never been charged nor arrested. I am confident that a review of facts by the court will show she is innocent of these allegations. Ms. Moss looks forward to being exonerated and fully expects all the charges to be dismissed.”
“Debbie Moss served a mandatory sitting time of a minimum of four hours, as required by anyone charged with an alcohol-related charge,” Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Moore said. “The judicial commissioner sets the bond and we, nor any other law enforcement agency, have control over that.”
Wilson County Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Lea said the details of the incident could be released once District Attorney Tommy Thompson returns from vacation.
“The fact the incident took place on a Saturday is one thing. I haven’t even had the chance to look at the case,” Lea said. “We won’t have any direction on how to proceed on this until (Thompson) returns from vacation, unless he looks at evidence while on vacation, which I doubt will happen.”
Moss has a court date of Jan. 27, 2020.