Local Chef And Restaurateur Michael Chiarello Arrested For DUI
Local chef and restaurateur, 54-year-old Michael Chiarello, was arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to officials, he also faced additional charges including possession of a controlled substance. The type of drug found on Chiarello could not be immediately identified and an investigation is ongoing.
The incident took place around 3:27 a.m. at Yountville Cross Road and Silverado Trail near Yountville when Chiarello was pulled over and arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer.
He was driving a black 2015 Porsche Boxster when he was pulled over. He told the arresting officer that he was coming from Yountville. However, according to Officer Marc Renspurger, a CHP spokesman, it could not be confirmed whether the celebrity chef was coming from Bottega.
After the arrest, he was booked in Napa County Jail at 4:46 a.m. and was later released at 7:28 a.m. after posting $5,000 bail.
Chiarello was contacted on Wednesday, but he declined to comment. His spokesman Terry Fahn released a statement on Thursday saying that his client disputes the charges.
The statement also read that he intends to vigorously challenge the misdemeanor charges filed against him, as the incident has embarrassed him deeply. He also apologized his friends, family, and business colleagues about the occurrence.
Chiarello’s arrest comes a short time after a high-profile lawsuit was filed in March involving Chiarello. In that lawsuit, two former servers at Coqueta accused Chiarello of sexual harassment. Chiarello was also blamed for failure to prevent harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unfair business practices. Coqueta chef Dominick Maietta, general manager Mirko Galliani, and assistant general manager Marc Peyer were also named in that lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Coqueta chefs and managers allegedly engaged in a pattern and practice of “inappropriate sexual comments, touching and other sex-related abuse.” Chiarello’s spokesman called the allegations “unfounded” and “against his core beliefs” at the time. According to public documents, that case was settled Tuesday. Neither Fahn, nor the plaintiff’s attorneys commented on the matter.
Chiarello owns Bottega in downtown Yountville, which is about 2½ miles from Coqueta in San Francisco and the place where he was arrested. He has been a frequent television presence on Food Network and Bravo over the past decade.
News Source: www.SFGate.com