A Hendersonville alderwoman charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident in Cheatham County in May allegedly lied to a Hendersonville police officer less than a month later when confronted about hitting a mailbox in her Mansker Farms neighborhood, according to an HPD incident report.
Ward 3 Alderwoman Angie Hedberg, 54, was arrested May 16 in Pleasant View, Tenn., and charged with DUI, implied consent and leaving the scene of an accident, according to a Cheatham County Sheriff's Office incident report.
According to the report, Officer Jacob Kent responded to the area of 6010 Highway 41-A in reference to a call that a female was flagging down vehicles as they passed. When he arrived on the scene, the officer found a minor accident had occurred, but no one was around the vehicles, according to the report.
While the officer was on the scene, a second caller and witness called in stating that the caller had given the female a ride to a service station. The caller said that the female was heavily intoxicated and was trying to leave the area and go to Hendersonville. The officer arrived at the service station and met Hedberg, who smelled of alcohol, had blood shot eyes and slurred speech, according to the report.
The alderwoman, who was elected in November, denied drinking alcohol but did admit to driving the brown Ford Explorer left at the scene. She also admitted to driving the vehicle from the Hendersonville area, the report states.
Hedberg performed poorly on several standardized field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI, according to the report. Her bond was set at $4,000 and she is scheduled to appear in Cheatham County General Sessions court on August 2.
Less than a month after the Cheatham County incident, Hendersonville police were called to a home on Center Point Court at around 5 p.m. on June 6.
According to an incident report, the home owner told police his mailbox had been hit and his neighbor Larry Cunningham saw who hit it. Cunningham, whose wife is the other Ward 3 Alderwoman, Arlene Cunningham, told police that Hedberg came to his house to speak with his wife. He said that he saw Hedberg back out of his driveway and strike his neighbor's mailbox. According to the report, the home owner provided police with a black door handle left at the scene.
Police then went to Hedberg's home on Trail Ridge Way and asked if she had been in the area of Center Point Court. The alderwoman told police that she hadn't been in the area, but had gone to Mt. Juliet earlier, according to the report. Police noticed a black Ford F150 in the driveway with a long scratch on the side and a missing rear passenger door handle. When police asked how long the scratch had been on the truck and how long the door handle had been missing, Hedberg told police she didn't know because it was her husband's vehicle.
"I advised Ms. Hedberg that she was lying to me that she had not been to Center Point Court today," writes HPD Officer A. Goodwin. The report goes on to say that Hedberg then retracted her statement and said that she went by the Center Point Court address to speak with Arlene Cunningham who was not home. When told that the officer had evidence that Hedberg struck the mailbox and that a door handle found at the scene matched her vehicle, Hedberg said she didn't realize she struck the mailbox and that she would "make it right with [the home owner] if she hit the mailbox."
Hedberg will not face charges in the Hendersonville incident and the case is closed, according to HPD Lt. Terry Smith.
"There wasn't sufficient probable cause to charge her with a crime," said Smith.
When contacted by a reporter on Wednesday, the Center Point Court home owner said that Hedberg paid him in cash to replace the mail box and surrounding landscaping.
"I would appreciate if she had just left a note [when she hit it]," he said.
Hedberg referred all questions regarding both incidents to Nashville attorney Tommy Overton.
"We look forward to defending the accusations against her in court and not in the media," said Overton.
In a statement at a recent Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Hedberg acknowledged online news reports of the incidents. She said that she was advised by legal counsel not to comment on the charges she faces in Cheatham County "as we are contesting those charges."
"However the story in regards to the mailbox," she said, "I understand having to write a police report involving an elected official can be hard not to mention politically sensitive for the officers involved.
"I support our police department and I admire the officers who report to my property. I'm embarrassed that I caused an uncomfortable situation for Officer Goodwin. If there was any misunderstanding during that conversation on my private property concerning the mailbox incident I've apologized via voicemail, unable to speak with Officer Goodwin myself due to schedules."