Chamber VP keeps job despite charge of DUI

Nick Masino

Nick Masino

SUWANEE -- A high-ranking member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce who reportedly worried aloud to police that a recent DUI arrest would cost him his job is still employed with Gwinnett's economic incubator, an official said Monday.

Nick Masino, former Suwanee mayor and current vice president of economic development for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, was arrested by Suwanee police Wednesday night on charges he was drunk, swerving and texting while driving. He refused a Breathalyzer and was released from the Gwinnett County Jail on his own recognizance after about an hour.

Once handcuffed, Masino, 41, reportedly told police the arrest would get him fired and make the news.

Jim Maran, Gwinnett Chamber president and CEO, said Monday that Masino "is still gainfully employed" with the chamber but declined further comment.

Masino's attorney, Pat McDonough, did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

The day after the arrest, and into Friday, Masino's Twitter account was abuzz with economic development tidbits and enthusiasm for paperboard and packaging manufacturer RockTenn's announcement of a 500-job expansion in Norcross.

Suwanee police charged Masino with driving under the influence, failing to maintain lane and not safely operating a vehicle while using a phone. He allegedly admitted to texting while driving and had the half-written text message to prove it.

According to a police report, an off-duty Suwanee police sergeant called dispatch to report a swerving 2007 Chevy Tahoe on southbound Interstate 85. A patrol officer took the call and pulled over Masino, the driver and lone occupant, about 9:50 p.m., after he'd exited onto Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and again swerved outside his lane, the report states.

Masino oversees the business recruitment and retention efforts for Gwinnett County as well as the Partnership Gwinnett Strategy for the chamber. He served as the mayor of Suwanee from 2000 to 2007.