Police arrested founder of Chattanooga Whiskey Joe Ledbetter over the weekend on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and retaliation against a judge/juror or officer.
Ledbetter said Monday morning that he is apologetic for his actions.
"I have respect for the officers and for the city of Chattanooga," he said, adding he wouldn't dream of disrespecting them.
Chattanooga Whiskey launched in 2011, and Ledbetter, along with partner Tim Piersant, spearheaded an effort to get the state Legislature to change laws regarding distilleries. Ultimately, they got the change the wanted, which will allow them to make whiskey in Chattanooga.
Since then, the company has evolved.
Leaders have added products and are in the midst of renovating the Tennessee Stillhouse, where Chattanooga Whiskey will be made.
In late 2013, Andrew Kean took over day-to-day operations of Chattanooga Whiskey. He currently acts as president of the company, with Piersant working as vice president, focusing on increasing local and national sales.
"I love Joe as a friend first and a business partner second," Piersant said via email. "This can happen to the best of people. I've spoken with Joe, and he has communicated his remorse. This doesn't reflect the values of the Tennessee Stillhouse."
Ledbetter currently acts as owner and board member of the company. He's inactive as an employee, Kean said.
"Joe has expressed deep regret and apologies for his behavior," Kean also said via email. "He knows, and we affirm, that these actions are inconsistent with the values of the Tennessee Stillhouse. We remain committed to encouraging only the responsible use of our current and future products."
Disclaimer: Nooga.com's parent company is Lamp Post Group, which has a business relationship with Chattanooga Whiskey Company. Editorial decisions for this publication are made independently of Lamp Post and Chattanooga Whiskey.