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County worker charged

Profile image for By Bj Lewis
By Bj Lewis

A Denton County employee who struck Sheriff William Travis’ personal vehicle while she was driving through a county parking lot has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

Danielle Hofmeister, 28, an employee in the jail health department, was arrested by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers Friday after her vehicle hit the sheriff’s vehicle at about 10:10 a.m. in a parking lot in the 1400 block of Troy H. LaGrone Drive.

Spokesman Lonny Haschel said the DPS stepped in to investigate the incident to avoid any appearances of bias.

Troopers determined that Hofmeister was driving through the parking lot when she struck the sheriff’s parked car. A field sobriety test was conducted and she was determined to be impaired, he said. She was arrested and charged with DWI, according to jail records. She was released on $2,500 bond.

Sandi Brackeen, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said Travis was in a meeting at the time and was not in the vehicle. There were no reported injuries, she said.

Hofmeister has been employed by the county as a Health Services Specialist II since Sept. 26, 2012, and earns $44,497, according to the county.

Bing Burton, Denton County health director, said Monday that he was aware of the incident and that his department is working with the county’s human resources department to assure that an appropriate response is taken by the department.

“At the time of the accident, the individual was not on duty, had not been on duty for over eight hours and was not scheduled to be on duty,” Burton said. “The individual is not working in public health since the incident.”

Brackeen said the sheriff’s office is investigating the incident but referred additional questions to the health department.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.