By Nancy Lindsey
Dan River District school board member Kandy Marshall Burnett confirmed Monday that she was arrested Feb. 25 on a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired in Mount Airy, N.C.
Burnett said she discussed the situation with the Patrick County School Board in closed session March 10, explaining that she was not “driving impaired,” but was taking her regular medication for seizures and an antibiotic for an inner-ear infection.
Burnett said she had been to the funeral for her first cousin, Sandy Draughn, for whom she gave the eulogy. Burnett said she had “stayed brave” through the service, but became “very upset” during the burial of her close cousin.
Before she left the cemetery, Burnett said, she looked at the clock in her car and saw that it was 3:58 p.m., which was almost time to take her seizure medication. She took the medicine and started driving through town, she said.
Burnett said she was pulled over by Mount Airy police officers at New Market Crossing, the shopping center where Rose’s and Sonic are located. When she was asked if she was on any medication, she said, she told the officers what she was taking and showed them the medicine.
Burnett said she was asked to step outside her vehicle and was told to perform an eye coordination test and to “walk a straight line” in the parking lot, while wearing high heels.
Burnett was taken to the police station where she submitted to a blood test, which was sent to a North Carolina forensics lab.
She saw a magistrate and was released on $500 unsecured bond.
Trial is set for March 28, but will probably be postponed because of the time it takes for the lab to process blood tests, Burnett said.
Burnett told the school board members and administrators that she was not taking any illegal drugs or alcohol, but only her prescription drugs for medical conditions.
Following the closed session to discuss personnel, the school board accepted the resignation of Jessica Mostyn, a teacher at Stuart Elementary School; appointed Brent Belcher as volunteer softball coach at Patrick County High School; appointed Adam Wright as a volunteer boys’ soccer coach at PCHS; appointed Adrian Edwards as an assistant boys’ soccer coach at PCHS; hired Rachel Hayes as a teacher assistant in special education at Hardin Reynolds Memorial School; and approved the transfer of Stacey Combs from teacher assistant in special education at HRMS to teaching assistant and Standards of Learning (SOL) tutor at HRMS.