Atlantic Beach's mayor, Retha Pierce, was released Thursday after spending a night in Marion County Detention Center. She was charged with misdemeanor DUI and was released on personal recognizance around 9 a.m. She is scheduled to have a hearing at 10 a.m. Oct. 6. Pierce, who had been charged on three other occasions since 2007, was stopped around 3:50 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. 501 in Marion County, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.She was to be in a hearing Thursday for one of the previous charges, but that case was continued. On Wednesday, a state trooper placed Pierce under arrest and took her to the Marion County Detention Center.Pierce could not be reached late Thursday for comment. "I don't know what to say," Atlantic Beach Councilwoman Charlene Taylor said Thursday on Pierce's arrest. "It seems to get worse and worse every time. I feel sorry for her. I feel like she's pulling us down. I just have to keep her in my prayers."Pierce's appearance Thursday was related to a trespassing charge. The judge has decided to continue that case in October, according to the judge's clerk.Atlantic Beach Police Chief Randy Rizzo, who attended the hearing, said an assistant for her lawyer, Irby Walker, explained to a judge that he was in another courtroom. In April, Pierce was charged with hit and run/leaving the scene of an accident after a 51-year-old woman told police she was traveling south on U.S. 17 inside the Atlantic Beach town limits when her vehicle was sideswiped by a white Chevrolet Blazer. .In January, Pierce was arrested on a charge of trespassing at Town Hall after a dispute with staff members. She later filed suit stating the arrest was intended to prevent her from uncovering a larger conspiracy among the town's appointed officials.In December 2007, she was charged with resisting arrest during a traffic stop in Little River. She later defended her actions and said she did not know she was expected to stay in her car after she was pulled over. Contact JANELLE FROST at 443-2404.Contact ALIANA RAMOS at 443-2434.
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