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Cherepko: ‘I have to deal with the consequences’
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko apologized Monday after being cited for public intoxication and trespassing in Nashville, Tenn.
Cherepko said the arrest came after a dispute involving a missing credit card.
“This is an embarrassing situation, and I’d like to apologize to my family and my constituents,” Cherepko said in a prepared statement.
“What started as a misunderstanding over my missing credit card could have been handled the next day with the establishment or my bank,” he said. “I should not have allowed myself to be in a situation like this, and unfortunately, I have to deal with the consequences. That means having my day in court and hopefully being absolved of any charges once the facts are explained.”
Officials in Davidson County, Tenn., said that Cherepko was cited Sunday for criminal trespassing and public intoxication, and released pending a hearing Jan. 5. The charges are misdemeanors.
Cherepko has served as the city’s mayor since 2012. He handily won re-election this month after defeating two other Democratic candidates in the May primary.
According to an affidavit filed in Davidson County Criminal Court, Metropolitan Nashville police were called to Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row nightclub on Broadway just after 2 a.m. Sunday because a patron was arguing with security guards about a missing credit card.
Police said they spoke to the patron, who told them he had closed out his tab but that the bar had kept his card.
The report states that the bartender said the credit card had been returned, but police advised the patron to return later in the day and warned him not to come back that night. Officers said the patron appeared to be intoxicated.
According to the affidavit, approximately 10 minutes later, the patron, whom police identified as Cherepko, returned and again tried to look for his credit card. The report states he was detained by security guards and police were called back to the scene.
Officers said Cherepko was alone and that after deeming him to be “a danger to himself” he was taken into custody for his own safety.
Under Tennessee law, public intoxication and criminal trespass are low-level offenses, or Class C misdemeanors. Maximum penalties are 30 days in jail and fines of up to $50.
Court records indicate that Cherepko posted $1,000 bond.
Originally published November 20, 2023.