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Redding utility worker under investigation for DUI – Record

Trunnell has served jail time for DUI, and has been arrested on suspicion of public intoxication.

Redding has hired an investigator to examine the case of an electric utility lineman arrested earlier this month on suspicion of driving a city-owned truck while intoxicated.

John Matt Trunnell has been on paid administrative leave since the investigation into his alleged DUI began Jan. 17, said Barry Tippin, assistant city manager and personnel director.

Investigator Chuck Lebak was expected to finish his report Friday and submit it to the city by Monday, Tippin said.

The city will determine whether Trunnell will face disciplinary action after reviewing Lebak’s report, he said.

Trunnell was pulled over Jan. 9 on Placer Street near Willis Street just west of downtown at 9:55 p.m., California Highway Patrol spokesman Mel Hutsell has said.

Trunnell and other Redding electric utility linemen were fixing a power outage, said Paul Hauser, REU director.

REU workers may choose whether or not they want to earn overtime responding to outages and other emergencies after hours, Hauser said. None is on paid standby, he said.

The Jan. 9 arrest wasn’t Trunnell’s first alleged DUI.

Trunnell was ordered in 1999 to serve six days in jail after he pleaded no contest to DUI charges.

In 2001, Trunnell was arrested cited on suspicion of being drunk in public, disturbing the peace and obstructing a public official.

He pleaded guilty early the following year to disturbing the peace, which was reduced to an infraction as part of his plea deal, according to electronic Shasta County Superior Court records.

REU hired Trunnell in January 2005, after these drinking incidents occurred.

The city conducted a statewide background check through the Department of Justice before hiring Trunnell. A hiring supervisor also checked references, Tippin said.

These background checks are standard for all hires, he said.

Neither Hauser nor Tippin would comment on Trunnell’s case Friday, since it’s still under investigation.

Trunnell declined to comment during an interview Thursday.

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