Longtime CNN producer John Griffin had pickup full of empty wine bottles in DUI arrest, documents show

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After a lonely sushi night at a Killington, Vermont, hibachi restaurant, longtime CNN senior producer John Griffin slammed his brand new pickup truck into another car while allegedly driving drunk down a two-lane mountainside road, court records show.

He vehemently denied drinking, according to the responding officer, but he failed a field sobriety test, and a towing company found empty wine bottles in the truck.

It happened roughly a month after police seized his electronics in a child trafficking investigation last year. Federal prosecutors filed charges in that case last week.

On Oct. 11, 2020, a Vermont state trooper responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash on Route 100 in Plymouth at around 6 p.m., about 13 miles north of the $2 million ski-in/ski-out cabin that he has now been accused of inviting women and their minor daughters to for sex crimes.

Inset: John Griffin’s 2020 mugshot from a Vermont DUI case. Background: Griffin’s $2 million ski lodge in Ludlow, Vermont.
(Vermont State Police/Fox News Digital)

She encountered Griffin, who had just crashed his 2020 Chevy Silverado into another vehicle carrying two Massachusetts residents. He said he was on his way home from the Sushi Yoshi restaurant in Killington, where he ate alone. He denied drinking any booze.

A passenger in the other vehicle told the trooper he believed Griffin was intoxicated and that he “could smell the alcohol coming off his breath.”

Griffin DUI Arrest 10-11-20 by Fox News on Scribd

The driver of the other car attempted a left turn, according to the incident report, while Griffin tried passing on the left side at the same time, according to the incident report. The driver told the responding trooper that Griffin slammed into her side of the car and then offered her money if she agreed not to call police.

Griffin told the officer he went to pass on the left, crossing double yellow lines, when “the vehicle moved towards the shoulder of the road,” but turned left in front of him.

Ex-CNN producer John Griffin’s $2 million Vermont chalet where he’s accused of abusing a 9-year-old girl.
(Fox News Digital)

“Griffin further stated to me, if I felt he was unsafe to drive, I could follow him home to Ludlow,” the trooper wrote in the report. “I told Griffin that I would not be doing that.”

The state police report indicates that the trooper observed a “moderate” odor of alcohol and that Griffin had watery eyes. His speech was normal, but a handwritten note on the margin stated he offered “short responses.” He also had a “flush red face.”

Griffin failed a field sobriety test. The trooper slapped him in handcuffs. He refused a Breathalyzer after arriving at the Rutland State Police Barracks for processing.

The trooper noted that Griffin had been “talkative,” “cooperative” and “polite” throughout the encounter. 

CNN fired senior producer John Griffin.

He later pleaded guilty to a charge of grossly negligent operation, arguing that Vermont’s 14-day coronavirus travel quarantine at the time “would pose a significant hardship” because he lived in Connecticut. He also agreed to pay restitution.

“I agree that on October 11, 2020, I operated a motor vehicle on a public highway in a grossly negligent manner,” he wrote in an affidavit to the court. 

During his initial court appearance on the new federal child trafficking charges via Zoom in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where he agreed to be extradited to Vermont, he admitted he was still hitting the bottle.

Magistrate Judge Robert Spector asked if he had used any drugs or alcohol in the previous 24 hours.

“Yes, your honor,” Griffin replied. “I am confident it was long enough ago that I am bone-dry sober at this point.”

Griffin and his wife separated some time last year but were trying to mend their marriage last summer, sources told Fox News. One of the sources said that it was common knowledge in their Connecticut community that Griffin was a heavy drinker and is rumored to have spent time in rehab. 

CNN promptly fired the former Chris Cuomo producer after his arrest, and a spokesman said the company had no knowledge of the staffer’s alleged misconduct.

His lawyer, David Kirby, declined to comment. 

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