Former councilman accused of DUI

CHP busts retired highway patrolman at his home

Tom Nickell, a former Chico city councilman and vice mayor, was arrested Thursday, June 28, on charges of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater.

According to a California Highway Patrol press release, the CHP’s Chico office received a call from another driver who reported witnessing a “single hit and run accident on Highway 99.” The driver reportedly followed Nickell (pictured) to his home, where a CHP officer later arrested him.

CHP spokesman Justin Maxey said Nickell allegedly sideswiped a piece of the temporary white protection barrier (known as “K-railing”) placed along the highway in conjunction with the ongoing expansion project. “Technically it’s a hit and run,” Maxey said. “But I don’t know how much damage you could do to K-railing.”

Nickell, a retired CHP officer, was not charged with hit and run. Nickell’s attorney, Robert Marshall, is waiting to see the police reports and said it’s too early to comment on the case.