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Last updated on Thursday, June 14, 2012
(GREENFIELD) - Hancock County Coroner Tamara Vangundy began taking a sleep aid the night she was arrested for OWI, according to her attorney.
The 49-year old Vangundy is accused of being intoxicated at a death investigation in New Palestine on the night of May 2nd. She faces a DUI charge along with official misconduct, since the alleged crime occurred during her duties as an elected official.
Vangundy's attorney, Carl Brizzi, says she was prescribed the sleep-aid Ambien that day. He says it was the first time she'd ever taken Ambiem that night with a couple glasses of wine. Brizzi says it had an adverse effect on her, it impaired her judgment and it just so happens that on that very same night there was a death in Hancock County where she got a phone call and she made a poor decision to go out to the scene.
Brizzi says Vangundy threw the Ambien away after her arrest. Brizzi says she would not have been charged without the effects of Ambien. "This is a situation where we have a person that was doing her job and it was just the wrong time and wrong place, the perfect storm of bad events sort of converging and coming together."
Vangundy's next court date is set for June 21 in Hancock Superior Court. She remains a candidate for re-election. She's opposed by Democrat Crystal Myers and Republican Dan Devoy is also trying to join the race as an independent.
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