The state health inspector in Kodiak has been arrested after allegedly wrecking a state-owned vehicle while driving drunk.
Michael Gardner, 59, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to be formally arraigned on drunken driving charges. That arraignment was postponed to Sept. 28 after he posted bail.
According to court documents, Gardner was found at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the scene of a two-car accident at the intersection of Marine Way and Mission Road in downtown Kodiak.
According to Kodiak police, Gardner — who called to report the accident — slurred so heavily while speaking that his words couldn’t be understood. He failed sobriety tests, and a breath test at Kodiak Jail revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.248, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08.
Gardner is the sole Kodiak-based food inspector for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and has worked alone since 1997, when DEC finished reducing its Kodiak detachment from five inspectors to one.
Mike Gentry, head of the DEC branch overseeing food inspections, had no comment on the case. “This is a personnel matter right now, and I really can’t comment on personnel issues at this point,” he said.
He declined to say if Gardner was still employed by the state.
Gardner’s office was closed and locked Tuesday afternoon, but Gentry said the state will continue to provide uninterrupted service to Kodiak businesses.