New Bedford city councilor facing OUI charge following investigation into multi-car crash

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) ─ The New Bedford city councilor accused of causing a multi-car crash last month is now facing a series of charges, including operating under the influence, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office.

Hugh Dunn, who represents Ward 3, is accused of hitting two parked cars while driving down South Water Street during the early morning hours of May 1.

The DA’s office said officers were initially called to the area for reports of a hit-and-run crash. When they arrived, the officers found Dunn in his vehicle “some distance from a damaged Chevy pickup truck and Toyota RAV4,” the DA’s office said.

An accident report previously obtained by 12 News states the officers described Dunn as “confused, shaken and disoriented.”

At the time, officers said they did not believe Dunn had been drinking prior to the crash, so they did not conduct a sobriety test; however, he did admit that he had taken allergy medication earlier in the day.

When 12 News inquired about why the officers did not conduct a sobriety test on Dunn, a spokesperson for the department said “the internal investigation is still ongoing regarding how officers handled the incident.”

Following an independent investigation conducted by the DA’s office, Dunn was issued a series of citations, including operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, leaving the scene of property damage and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

The DA’s office has applied for a criminal complaint against Dunn in connection with these citations and assigned a special prosecutor to the case.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the charges against Dunn are serious.

“Like anyone else, he will have the opportunity to present his side of the case in court,” Mitchell said.

Dunn’s official website states he’s currently the executive director of government relations at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, however, a spokesperson for the college tells 12 News he hasn’t worked there since July of last year.

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