Former Ernst staffer admits OWI, officer lets her go - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former Ernst staffer admits OWI, officer lets her go

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • NEWS

    NEWS

    NEWS

    Local, breaking news for eastern Iowa. We've got you covered with newsrooms in Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Click here for breaking news on-air, online and on-the-go.

    More >>

    Local, breaking news for eastern Iowa. We've got you covered with newsrooms in Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Click here for breaking news on-air, online and on-the-go.

    More >>
URBANDALE (KWWL) -

A former staffer for Senator-Elect Joni Ernst admits to drunk driving, but the Urbandale police didn't arrest her.

Gretchen Hamel was the spokesperson for Ernst during her campaign, but resigned just before election day after being arrested for Operating While Under the Influence. Now, video has surfaced of another run-in with the police, just a few weeks before, on Oct. 3.

The video, provided by Urbandale PD, shows Hamel in the backseat of squad car. Off-camera, an officer asks her why she's in town.

“I'm here working for a political campaign, currently,” she said.

The officer asked for whom.

“For a political candidate in Iowa,” she said.

“So obviously a OWI would probably get you fired,” the officer said.

“Yes,” Hamel responded.

Officers said they found Hamel's car after it was involved in a single-car accident. She was found in the passenger seat.

On the tape, an officer asks if she was driving. She said no, but he asks for the truth. He asks if it's a fair assume that she was driving.

“For you, yes,” she said. “But why do you have to go against me so accusatory?”

Later in the tape:

“Right now, I'm leaning towards not charging you with OWI, OK?” the officer said. “Not because I don't believe you were driving, because I know that as a fact, but because I don't think you need to be fired from you job for this.”

The officer tells Hamel he won't arrest her.

“That being said, you were the driver, correct?” he said.

“But I was pulling over,” she responded.

“You were puling over because you'd been drinking too much?” the officer asked.

KWWL was unable to reach the Urbandale Police Chief for comment, but he told the Des Moines Register “There's nothing the officer said overtly wrong or against any policy.”

The incident is under investigation.

Powered by Frankly