Former Democratic state lawmaker Nick Mackey was arrested in Concord early Sunday morning for impaired driving and driving with a revoked license.
According to the police report, available here, Mackey was stopped for an expired tag and registration. The arresting officer, J.S. Eschert, reported that Mackey was unsteady and rambling with “red glassy eyes” and a strong odor of alcohol, which he tried to cover up with gum.
Eschert reported that Mackey said he had been out at a club but had not been drinking. Mackey reportedly told Eschert he's an attorney and a former police officer (he served 14 years with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department).
According to the report, Mackey asked Eschert if, “as a courtesy,” he could be issued a ticket only for the revoked license. The officer declined.
Mackey refused a breathalyzer and all other roadside tests, Eschert reported, and was eventually taken to the ER for a blood alcohol test. He’s scheduled to appear in Cabarrus County Superior Court on January 19th.
Reached by phone, the former lawmaker had no comment on the report or his arrest.
Mackey is no stranger to controversy. In 2007, his nomination for Mecklenburg County sheriff sparked upheaval among local Democrats. The county council eventually threw out his nomination in early 2008, just days after he was found guilty of contempt of court for failing twice to show up to represent a client.
In May 2008, he beat incumbent Democrat Drew Saunders in District 99 (Mecklenburg), and went on to win the seat for a single House term. Despite perfect attendance, he was ranked the least effective House Democratic in the 2009-2010 session.
Meantime, other problems continued to dog Mackey: the North Carolina bar suspended his law license on May 3, 2010, citing "a pattern of misconduct" and "lack of honesty, trustworthiness, or integrity."
The next day, Mackey lost his primary election by a 2-1 margin to the current incumbent, Rep. Rodney Moore.
Mackey successfully appealed to regain his law license after a year’s suspension. It was reinstated by the Bar in June of this year.