Last May the Underground received the following e-mail. That message (with identifying details removed) is posted below:

    From: [redacted]
    To: underground@cityoflafayettega.com
    Subject: commissioner
    Date: May 3, 2010

    Have heard rumors that Be Be Heiskell has had minor traffic accidents and recently was driven home from the Chick. Taco Bell in the wee hours of the morning and intoxicated, the transportation was by the county. Have you anything like this?

    Wish to be anonymous. Thanks

We replied to the message and asked for any additional details, receiving the following answer:

    From: [redacted]
    To: underground@cityoflafayettega.com
    Subject: RE: commissioner
    Date: May 4, 2010

    My understanding is that the incident was not the Taco Bell, but the Huddle House in Chickamauga, if I understand right this happened this past Saturday or early Sunday. I believe it was Sheriff’s deputies that may have been summoned by the Huddle House employees.

    As to any other car incidents, don’t know specific, but did hear she had her personal vehicle repaired at the counties’ expense.

The Underground receives similar tips in e-mail all the time, and most are unusable rumors or information we already have. But this was something different, and the anonymous source is someone known to be trustworthy. We felt it deserved a bit of a followup and deployed a researcher to see if there was any truth behind the story.

During several consecutive visits to the Chickamauga Huddle House, an Undergroundling spoke with employees who confirmed an intoxicated customer had been in the store somewhere between 11 PM and 12:15 AM on the evening of Friday April 30th. The employees we interviewed didn’t gt a good look at the customer and weren’t sure how he (or she) had gotten home since their shifts ended before the subject left.

Obviously their accounts gave some weight to the e-mail tip, but without direct confirmation from an independent eyewitness the rumor was still unconfirmed and unusable. After a week of checking with various Huddle House staff the e-mail tip was designated as an unconfirmed rumor and moved out of the spotlight, unlikely to ever see the light of day.

The tip came back up last December when a casual Facebook thread about an unrelated topic led to a discussion of drunkenness. One Facebook contributor with no connection to the original source casually mentioned seeing Commissioner Heiskell intoxicated at Huddle House last spring. That unexpected comment provided a secondary confirmation and a direct eyewitness account – changing an unconfirmed rumor into usable news.

According to the second source, Heiskell arrived at the Huddle House one evening (they were unsure of the exact date but said it was late April or early May) “dressed like she had been at a party” with “her wig crooked” and obviously too drunk to drive. They left before she did and were unable to confirm how the Commissioner got home or if law enforcement was ever involved.

After the December confirmation, we contacted a law enforcement officer friend. He confirmed hearing a similar story from fellow officers, adding that the commissioner had apparently soiled herself before arriving at the diner. He couldn’t confirm if Heiskell drove herself home after officers arrived, but clarified that any police officers or deputies called to the store would not have arrested the commissioner because state law requires officers to see a suspect actually driving a vehicle before charging them with a DUI. (That’s apparently in place to keep overzealous officers from arresting people sleeping one off in their car.) According to that law enforcement source, officers would either drive the suspect home or allow them to drive their own vehicle with an officer escort, which is probably what happened when Heiskell left the Huddle House.

So there you have it. Verified by multiple sources: Bebe Heiskell showed up drunk at the Chickamauga Huddle House on a Friday evening last April, presumably after driving herself from a party in Fort Oglethorpe or (likely) Chattanooga. She was obviously drunk, fake hair in a mess and possibly soiled. Police or deputies arrived and carried her home, as they would be required to do under current law.

It’s none of our business or concern if someone drinks to excess in their own home or even gets knee-walking drunk at a party, so long as they have enough self control to arrange for a ride. But when a public official drinks herself under the table and then tries to drive home, that becomes an issue of public safety and personal responsibility. Heiskell also gets her personal vehicle expenses reimbursed by the county, which could be a problem if she’s involved in any accidents or instances impacting insurance costs. And since Heiskell is the county’s sole leader, she has minimal accountability for her actions.

If she has so little self control, do we truly want her to continue in her role as sole commissioner for a county of more than 60,000 people? At the very least this should reignite interest in changing Walker County from a sole-commissioner form of government into a county with a board or council making decisions, accountable to each other and unable to make decisions without a majority vote.

More on that topic later.

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39 comments so far

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  1. We all know that certain people can get away with these things

  2. So,being drunk and disorderly is not considered against the law?Good to know.lol

  3. Oh Docc it is. For some people.
    Think about it if the President’s of the US was being DnD what would happen to him? Would he lose his Presidency? But if just some guy was being DnD what happens to him?

  4. *thumbs up*

  5. (on the article, not the having a drunken, sloppy, irresponsible commissioner)
    Just wanted to clarify that.

  6. This is speculative at best. I don’t think the dots quite connect right to see a whole picture.

  7. The mental imagery of Bebe Heiskell drunk, wig all cockeyed, and peeing her pants has ruined my appetite for at least the next 18 years. The only way it could be worse would be to see her and David Ashburn slow dancing at the American Legion while Keith Fults and his band played “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. Eww!

  8. If the President of the US was observed while being D & D, my guess is one of two things would happen (neither of which, to him).

    1.) The observers (witnesses) would be brought around to their way of thinking, or

    2.) Car accident, heart-attack, etc….

    It’s still whoever is strongest.

  9. I’ve never seen a president behind a wheel of a car.

  10. D & D is drunk and disordery……………………….

  11. Does anyone know which LPD cop lives at Spring Meadow Subdivision in Catoosa County, and drives his car home every night at taxpayer expense? With the price of gas as it is, I personally believe this is ridiculous. This would be a 40 mile round trip per day, and would not be of a benefit in any rapid response. Stickin’ it to the citizens appears to be what LaFayette is all about.

  12. lol… what were you arrested for?

  13. On the other side of the coin, how long as the officer been fired from Catoosa County?

  14. I would like to know if that 3 and 1/2 million dollar horse ranch, that bebe bought, is a private or public venture? If its a public venture, is the public invited to use it? Also, is the public invited to go to bebe’s health spa, up near the civic center? Where does the public fit in on all these high priced ventures? This doesn’t sound like a very good INVESTMENT FOR THE TAX PAYERS?

  15. It seems that the dumb school board, and the Commissioner,always has an excessive amount of money to spend, would they have made these investments if they were spending their own money? I hope the Commissioner and the school board is not dining out at the HuddleHouse together?

  16. Someone just sent me a very good picture of a female Walker County deputy driving a patrol car while talking on a cell phone and smoking a cigarette. They snapped it with a cell phone while waiting for a light to change. I guess this should be an example for all to follow.

  17. You can forward that photo to lu@cityoflafayettega.com . :P

  18. done

  19. Is everybody so digusted they just don’t have anything to say, anymore ?

  20. Is Queen Bebe at it again? Could she be buying the property south of the Civic Center at an outragious price? Are we going to be able to VOTE on this??? Also, what is the property going to be used for?

  21. I wonder if she is still dining at the Huddlehouse in Chickamauga? If you have an itenarary, I would like to come and watch?

  22. The property directly south of the Civic Center was bought over a year ago by Walker County Schools, Bebe had no say over it. She might have influenced it, but likely it was bought for the new school (see http://www.cityoflafayettega.com/2011/03/its-for-the-children/ ) because it’s one of the few lots of land big enough in the Rock Spring area.

    If you’re referring to the Swanson Farm in Noble your guess is as good as mine.. She said last July they were waiting to buy it in 2011 so Swanson could pay his property taxes on it again but so far seems like they’ve made no moves. See http://www.cityoflafayettega.com/2010/06/industrial-strength/

    — LU

  23. I will say it again, its the property next to the Civic Center, that Bebe is trying to buy? You might ought to go back and look at the records, its the property that borders on Civic Center on the south side. If you need anymore info, just email me.

  24. Has anyone heard anything about what is going on in the Commissioners office just smell when you go in? Some of the County Employees said that she is going to try to relocate the County Offices to Rock Springs near the Civic Center. She forgets that Lafayette is the County Seat.

  25. She’s been trying to do that since she was county administrator. Why do you think they built the Civi Center, road barn, DFCS, 911 center, and garbage dump there in the first place? Consolidating power for the Chickamauga Mafia. They bought Bebe a new office on the opposite corner of Duke and Villanow St. (the old Minor, Bell, & Neal law office) but after renovating much of it and using carpet designated for the DFCS building inside it, there’s still nobody home. Maybe they’ll just move her desk to a corner at Village Sportsbar…

    – LU

  26. Way to go LU, I am glad someone is standing up to the dictator.

  27. Wonder how much time, and how much it cost to train an employee in the tag office to be such a snob and very rude to the public? Especially when they are being paid by the very people they are being rude to? Bebe maybe you can answer this?

  28. To the Commissioner and the dumb School Board, always remember if the economy gets moving real good, best way to slow it down is tax it? And if that doesn’t work tax it some more. Works everytime.

  29. Hate to break it you Thiefwatch but smoking a cigarette and talking on a cell phone is not against the law, only texting while driving is. What is the big deal of a deputy doing that anyway?

  30. If you could see the fat hog doing it, you would see how inappropriate it looks. It sets a bad example for young drivers. Also, these are taxpayer paid cell phones, which is another sad story altogether.

    BTW, talking on cell phones is next on the chopping block … hate to break it to you.

  31. Thiefwatch-There are only 2 cellphones that have been issued to uniformed deputies , and those 2 are issued to 2 supervisors. All other deputies are using their own cell phones. As of yet there is no Bills at the capitol for a statewide ban of talking on cell phones while driving. As for setting an example to young drivers, it wouldnt matter to them. Young people this day and age have little respect for anyone so what does it matter.
    Before you start spouting off facts make sure you have them right. A simple phone call to the Sheriff’s Office and an inquery as to have many uniformed officers have cell phones provided by the department would have given you the correct facts. Its all public record.

  32. bickerin an stupid comment ruin a place like this. i dont care if people smoke or talk on phone long as eddie not payin for it we need people in office save money cut spendin an be responcible with tax people money an only spend money if it real needed like. need to be that way in all govt and we not be in det so much. people need to think of there kid when they grow up one day and how hard it be on them

  33. eddie, not bickering , just informing, and people having a difference of opinion is what this is all about.

  34. I actually have to agree with ThiefWatch on this one, it does look bad, though it isn’t illegal. I’m not really quite sure exactly why it looks bad because I smoke, never talk on my phone while driving though, too much to pay attention to. I also saw the same thing they did. And I agree with eddie on most of those comments, albeit it was kind of hard to read…

  35. After reading about all of the officals lately in Walker County drinking on the job, being arrested for drinking and driving, and know hearing about BeBe going to the Huddle House drunk and peeing on herself, I must ask. Whats all the concern when it come to liquor by the drink in Walker County? Hell people, look at all of the tax dollars that we are letting get out of Walker County. And BeBe you must admit, being able to drink closer to the house you might be able to hold your pee a little longer until you get home. On a more serious side folks, I think that we should all be fed up with the people that we currently have in office. Some of them are making Walker County the laughing stock of the country. People from other places think that everyone from Walker County Georgia is no more than a poor uneducated dunk. Wake up people, lets clean the house at the next election from Jeff Mullis on down

  36. This is no more than hear say till proven other wise. Ever heard of proof?

  37. Blah blah. Just because it is hearsay, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Most things are hearsay, that’s generally how things get found out. To the person/person’s who saw it and told LU, it was first hand, live witness knowledge – to everyone else it’s hearsay. LU isn’t in a court…and well you can read it or leave it, believe it or not…

  38. If she or anyone else were in that kind of shape and not driving and in public … I thought that = to public drunk…. don’t know just saying

  39. BEBE is no different than any other politcal figure they are all full of promise = lies = b***& S I KNOW FROM TRYING TO GET THEM TO HELP WITH SOME SERIOUS ISSUES HAD 2 SONS USE TO WORK FOR WALKER CO ROADS DEPT.I could sure tell some true stories huh .