TN Secretary of State gives up state owned car after DUI


Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett pleaded guilty Thursday morning to driving under the influence in a Coffee County court.
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett pleaded guilty Thursday morning to driving under the influence in a Coffee County court.

Per the state’s policy, an investigation should be completed within 30 days of the incident. This should have been done in July, but in a letter to the Department of General Services obtained by WSMV4 Investigates, the Secretary of State’s office said it needed to wait for legal proceedings. Those proceedings were settled Thursday.

Thursday morning Hargett stood in front of a Coffee County judge to accept his plea deal.

It comes after Hargett admitted to driving under the influence on his way from the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June.

“I feel it’s time to accept responsibility for my actions, to move forward, to focus on what things God can do through me as a result of this difficult time,” Hargett said after his guilty plea.

Since Hargett was driving a state-issued car, it triggered an internal investigation. Now that legal proceedings are over, the Secretary of State’s office can now investigate their own boss.

The Secretary of State’s office says Hargett intends to return his state issued car. That will be affective for at least one year. Since he voluntarily gave them his car, they said this is sufficient enough and there will be no further action.

Months ago, Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott said they could release body camera video after the case was adjudicated. WSMV4 sent a request for the video and were told it will be released in 10 days if no one appeals.

Hargett’s lawyers said he already completed DUI school, paid his $350 fine, and passed his alcohol and drug assessment. For the next year, he must take a breathalyzer test each time he drives his personal car.