Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent's staffer facing DUI charge

BROOKSVILLE — Soon after Cheryl Corder's Buick struck a power pole and vaulted end over end into the air, she was in the back of an ambulance talking to the paramedic treating her.

The 56-year-old told him she was drunk, a report shows. Corder also said she'd been drinking at work, from where she'd just left. And her boss, she explained to the emergency worker, is U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent.

Her blood-alcohol concentration was 0.23 at the time of her accident near the intersection of Powell Road and Endsley Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. That's nearly triple the level at which Florida law considers a person to be under the influence.

Corder was arrested Thursday on a charge of DUI with property damage. She was booked into the Hernando County Jail, and her bond was set at $500. Sent to intensive care after the single-car accident, Corder's jail photo shows her wearing a neck brace.

The April 11 crash occurred around 2 p.m., about 15 minutes after, the congressman's spokesman said, she'd left work at the district office on Spring Hill Drive in Brooksville.

When Nugent spoke to a reporter Thursday afternoon, he hadn't received the arrest report but knew some details from the day of the accident.

Corder, who couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, had come into work late that day because she said she had a doctor's appointment that morning, Nugent said. Soon after, she told two fellow employees she wasn't feeling well and was going home.

"One of the employees asked her, 'Are you okay to drive?' " Nugent recalled being told by staff. "She said, 'No problem.' "

Just moments before the wreck, authorities say two witnesses saw Corder's 1992 Buick swerve several times into the oncoming lane and then veer back into her own lane. They called 911, but as they explained her erratic driving to the operator, Corder's car slammed into the power pole, twisted in the air and landed on its roof before sliding in a ditch.

The congressman said he didn't believe Corder had any history of alcohol abuse. Also, Nugent said, neither he nor his staff knew Corder had been drinking at work or that she was drunk when she left the office.

"If she was drinking at work," he said, "she must have hidden it in a soda bottle or something."

Before deciding whether to fire Corder, Nugent said he would wait to review law enforcement's findings.

"If she was drinking on the job," he said, "then I'm not going to keep anyone who does that."

She was among the large portion of Ginny Brown-Waite's staff Nugent retained after the former congresswoman stepped down in January. Corder had worked for Brown-Waite since 2003 and was paid $46,916 in 2010, according to legistorm.com. Brown-Waite did not immediately respond to an e-mail Thursday afternoon.

News researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or jcox@sptimes.com.

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent's staffer facing DUI charge 05/12/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  2. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA —When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Beth Caldwell, 35, and her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7. Caldwell had surgery to remove an aggressive brain tumor three years ago. [Photo Courtesy of Beth Caldwell]
  3. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.
  4. Dade City's Wild Things blocks PETA officials at gates for court-ordered site inspection

    Wildlife

    Times Staff Writer

    DADE CITY — Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show.

    Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show. This comes four days after 19 Wild Things tigers arrived at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. A judge had granted an emergency injunction July 14, ordering Stearns not remove any tigers pending the upcoming PETA inspection. Photo from Facebook page of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.
  5. St. Petersburg City Council approves $326 million sewage fix

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last week the City Council learned no criminal charges would result from the up to 200 million gallons of sewage St. Petersburg's sewer system released from …

    [LARA CERRI  |  Times]