Six months after restaurant arrest, city director says she's not - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Six months after restaurant arrest, city director says she's not 'some tramp'

Elizabeth Hoffman Elizabeth Hoffman

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – She was crying before I could ask her the first interview question.
 
"For the past six months, seems like every other week, there's another story about how I'm being portrayed as some tramp that did something and it's not what happened," Metro Council Caucus Director Elizabeth Hoffman said.
 
She was arrested, along with Louisville's former Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland, and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. The police report said they were engaged in "disruptive, provocative and intimate behavior."

[PREVIOUS STORY: Metro bigs accused of public intoxication, disorderly conduct]

"It's hard enough I had to explain to my children why people are saying this about me," Hoffman said. "I never had my clothes off. Never."

Hoffman said the sudden death of her brother, followed by other family problems and stress at work, prompted a doctor to prescribe her anti-anxiety medication before meeting Rowland on Jan. 2 at the El Nopal restaurant to talk about the Omni Hotel project.

"I had taken my meds that day; I was really stressed," she said. "I went and met him at El Nopal. There were margaritas on the table. I remember eating. I had some chips. I don't know what happened after that. Honestly. I don't remember. The next thing I know, there were police lights. I was in the back of Steve's car. An officer had me get out of the car and take me downtown and I didn't know why. I had no idea why the whole time."

She said she was hospitalized for two weeks at The Brook for depression, then did community service at the Center for Women and Families. WAVE 3 News checked the record, which showed the charges have been expunged.

"I was arrested for public intoxication. I'm guilty of that,” she said, before being asked what she's not guilty of. "Of having an affair, of being some kind of tramp, it's not who I am." 
 
"I was embarrassed and humiliated, and this never happened to me before, never," Hoffman said. "I couldn't understand. I was never involved with him, ever. The only relationship we've ever had was business and we did meet occasionally to talk about stuff."

She said going back to work has been "uncomfortable" at times, but she has apologized to everyone, and said she's still effective in her job.

When asked if taxpayers are getting their money's worth in the job she does, she answered emphatically. "Absolutely. Absolutely."

Rowland resigned, after taking responsibility for his actions in a statement. Hoffman was allowed to reapply for her $71,000-a-year job. The Metro Council Caucus' personnel committee, made up of five people, will decide who gets that job, now that the application period is over.
 
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