Ex-aide who claimed paternity of baby John Edwards fathered charged with DWI, child abuse

  • Article by: MICHAEL BIESECKER , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 9, 2014 - 2:40 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. — A former John Edwards aide who was a key government witness against the 2008 Democratic presidential contender at his campaign finance trial has been arrested on charges of drunken driving and child abuse.

Court records show Andrew Young was arrested in Raleigh shortly before midnight Sunday and charged with impaired driving and misdemeanor child abuse. Young's 13-year-old son was with him in the vehicle, according to court records.

Young, 48, was released on a $2,000 secured bond early Monday morning. A message left seeking comment at a phone number listed in court records received no response. It was not immediately clear if Young has hired a lawyer.

In 2007, the married aide falsely claimed paternity of the baby Edwards fathered with a campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter. Young testified at Edwards' 2012 trial that he took secret payments from two political donors to hide his boss' pregnant mistress from the media.

Edwards was acquitted on one felony count, and the jury was unable to agree on a verdict on five other charges. Federal prosecutors elected not to seek a retrial.

Young, who lives in Chapel Hill, was pulled over about 11:45 p.m. near Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh after he "was involved in a road rage incident where he punched a vehicle," according to court records. The arresting officer described Young as having "red glossy eyes, slurred speech."

Young told police he drank four large beers at a concert, according to the report. The outdoor arena had just hosted a show by country music singer Luke Bryan.

North Carolina court records show Young has been charged with driving while impaired on two prior occasions, most recently in 2006.

Young wrote a 2010 tell-all book about his role in the Edwards scandal, titled "The Politician." At the subsequent trial in federal court, however, Young was forced to admit under cross-examination that several details in his book were inaccurate.

Edwards' defense lawyers claimed that the presidential candidate had no direct knowledge of the roughly $1 million in payments funneled into accounts controlled by Young and his wife, Cheri. Bank records entered into evidence showed much of the money went not to care for Edwards' mistress, but to help build the couple's palatial dream home.

Young's arrest report does not list a current employer.

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