4:49 PM EDT, May 3, 2012
Hancock County, Ind.
The Hancock County coroner was booked into the Hancock County Jail Thursday, locked up for reportedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Tamara Vangundy calls her actions "a poor decision."
Deputies responded to a death investigation in the 700 block of West Amelia Drive in New Palestine, Ind., around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Officers said she showed up to that investigation intoxicated. According to the probable cause affidavit, an officer stated, "I observed her sway and stumble."
Fox59 was the only station to have cameras rolling as the elected official was put through a field sobriety test, a test Vangundy failed.
"It was just a poor decision," said Vangundy as she was being booked into the jail.
Vangundy was booked into the Hancock County Jail in the early morning hours of May 3. Before being locked up at 1:30 a.m., she got emotional during her one phone call.
"I am so sorry, I am so sorry," said Vangundy.
She then hung up the phone and put her head in her hands.
Joan Saunders said her friendship with Tamara Vangundy goes back 38 years. They went to Greenfield High School together.
"She worked at the Greenfield Police Department as a dispatcher with my mom, as did her brother," said Saunders. "She goes to church every Sunday, she is one of the kindest, gentle people I know."
She had not heard that her long-time friend had been arrested, until Fox59 told her.
"Very shocked, I am, because that is not in her nature," said Saunders.
Vangundy is up for re-election. She is running unopposed. Her campaign signs are in several yards in across the county. Saunders said she is worried the people will rush to judge Vangundy, especially after seeing the video of her failed sobriety test.
"This is, you have probably heard, a 'good ole boys town,' and people will pass judgement on her, but they should not," said Saunders.