A first-term Gorham town councilor is accused of driving drunk and leaving the scene of an accident after smashing her pickup truck into two parked cars and driving away.

Suzanne Phillips, 36, was arrested in the early morning of May 4 after a witness called Gorham police and reported the accident, around 12:40 a.m. on School Street, just north of the intersection with Main Street in the center of town, according to a report filed with the state Department of Public Safety.

Phillips, who was elected to the Town Council in November, is scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on July 11, said police Lt. Christopher Sanborn.

When reached by email Friday, Phillips said she was consulting with her attorney and declined to comment further.

Sanborn said he couldn’t give details of the incident because it is the subject of an open investigation.

According to the crash report, Phillips was driving north on School Street when she swerved into two cars that were parked legally on the same side of the road, breaking mirrors on both of them, and drove away. No one was injured.

A witness followed Phillips and reported her location to police, the report said.

A breath test showed her blood-alcohol content to be 0.11 percent, according to the report. The legal limit is 0.08.

Sanborn said Phillips was taken to the Gorham police station and released on personal recognizance.

Gorham council Chair Brenda Caldwell said Phillips called her soon after the accident to tell her about the charges. Caldwell said she and Town Manager David Cole encouraged Phillips not to resign from the council because of the incident, and she doesn’t plan to do so.

“Everybody makes mistakes and, in fact, I think it might make her a better councilor,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said she believes that Phillips has been trying harder to contribute since the accident.

Cole said he is not aware of any policies or reasons for Phillips to resign.

Caldwell said Friday that she believes most councilors are unaware of the charges and she doesn’t plan to acknowledge the situation publicly.

At a recent meeting, several councilors lauded Phillips for her work as co-chair of the committee that organized the Gorham Founder’s Festival, held late last month. They all said it was a great success and an improvement from other years.

“She did a fantastic job,” Caldwell said Friday, noting that Phillips also worked hard on the town’s budget process and brings fresh ideas to the council.

“She’s really a very nice girl who made a mistake, and my bet is that it won’t happen again,” Caldwell said.

During her campaign for a seat on the council, Phillips, who lives on Harding Bridge Road, said she grew up in Gorham and works as a nanny. She said she wanted to serve on the council to give back to her community.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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