And the Kabot DWI jury sez:

Friday, February 04, 2011

And the Kabot DWI jury sez:

Not Guilty!

Acquitted on all "alcohol-related" charges, con­victed only of failure to stop at a stop sign!

Linda Kabot's five-day trial may be over, but the "fall-out" still has a long ways to go.

Unfortunately, the Westhampton Beach Police Department, which the current Village admin­istration and Chief Ray Dean have been fight­ing to get on-track following too many years of rot from within, will take a number of hits on this.

First among them will be the incautious ac­tions by a part-time Village Police Officer who couldn't resist informing his Southampton Town Police Officer brother of the then South­ampton Town Supervisor's arrest which set in motion the events which allowed defense attorney William Keahon to conjure up an obfuscatory cloud of conspiracy charges.

(Chief Dean should hang one of those WWII "Loose lips sink ships" posters in the station-house locker room.)

Keahon is a big winner in this matter, having put the police on trial in his defense of Mrs. Kabot. Ironically, he still has to defend sus­pended Village Police Officers Michael Bruetsch and Joseph Pesapane1 in disciplinary hearings involving another officer's missing handgun.

(Let's see how adept Mr. Keahon is at per­foming the "Pettit Two-Step.")

Also with this verdict comes a certain valida­tion of Officers Steven McManus and Ryan Lucas who, the jury found, had cause2 to make the Labor Day weekend traffic stop.

Still, Mrs. Kabot's vindication on the DWI-related charges, while an immediate relief to the lady, must ultimately have a bitter-sweet taste... she was a first term Supervisor in a tight re-election contest.

Now she's just a citizen with a hole in the family exchequer and points on her license.

In a related matter...

Props to courtroom correspondent Lisa Finn for her thorough on-line coverage of the Kabot trial for Hampton Bays Patch... though I do have some reservations about...

"Incendiary questions over why tape was missing – and who was responsible – put the sleepy Westhampton Beach Police De­partment smack in the center of a firestorm of speculation."

...that "sleepy" characterization. She certain­ly never described it that way when she was writing for the East End Independent.

Notes
  1. Officer Pesapane's first disciplinary hear­ing concluded last month, but the Hearing Officer has yet to issue his decision.
  2. Keahon's razzle-dazzle about his client being targeted by Village Police didn't hold sway.

Comments

1. Tugboat Bertha said...

Hurray for Linda. We are delighted over here that she is acquitted. But we are surprised how divisive this case is. The comments on line are vicious. What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty" and "love thy neighbor?"

What ever happened to "if I'm going to insist on driving after a couple of drinks, I'd better drive straight home?"
Dean

2. Clarity said...

A joke of all jokes. Long live OJ Simpson!

Um, you do remember where OJ Simpson is now, yes?
Dean

3. Michael Jacobs said...

Can't say I didn't predict the outcome... but, after all, I had a 50/50 shot.

HOWEVER... while we don't know what was in the minds of the jurors – whether it was the fact that Attorney Keahon "put the Westhampton Beach Police Department on trial" or just the simple lack of EVIDENCE beyond subjective analysis of the tape, is unanswerable. Certainly the officers had probable cause to make the traffic stop and investigate further. I don't doubt their trained and professional judgement that Linda did not perform well on the field sobriety tests. But once she refused to "blow" and absent a blood test, she was already on the way to acquittal.

As to the conspiracy theories... well... maybe... who knows? The spate of late night texts and phone calls lends credence. Hopefully we can move past this unfortunate incident and learn from the experience. Linda... don't stand in the same room with an open bottle of cough syrup let alone wine and then drive your car. In fact, if it wasn't some level of impairment or distraction you may want someone else to do the driving. Steve and Ryan – continue to do your jobs the way you were trained, let the chips fall where they might... and keep any extraneous chatter to a minimum. It will result in fewer questions being raised and fewer uncomfortable moments on the witness stand.

The "spate of late night texts and phone calls" is something that will stay with the present Southampton Town Supervisor come this Election season.

Steve and Ryan – have a better "camera awareness;" i.e., McManus, keep your big Oirish arse from between the lens and the subject.
Dean

4. Jeanne Speir said...

What would happen to the average income'd Joe Jet, presumptively innocent and under the same circumstances? Would he go to jail, or permanently lose his license? Or have to attend rehab?

Did justice prevail because of the ability to pay?

There is always a price-tag attached to "justice," my dear, but one doesn't "permanently lose" one's license over a first DWI offense where no injuries occur, #1, and, #2, you are assuming "justice prevailed" in this case.
Dean

5. Hampton West said...

Glad it's over - perhaps all the nastiness will end - Linda will re-group and move on - she's a smart lady.

I always thought her to be smart... until this situation arose. But she's been vindicated, so what do I know?

"End the nastiness?" Haven't looked at 27East.com today, have you? Some of those uniformly pseudonymous Commenters still think the inebriated passer-by in the dash-cam video was one of the tramps in Dealey Plaza!
Dean

6. Clarity said...

Dean, I do know where OJ is now. However, while not a fan, I am fairly sure that Linda is not gonna go do an armed robbery at the new mega Hess in Quogue!!!

Wasn't at all my suggestion... for whatever reason (and there are many from which to choose) the American justice system isn't perfect.
Dean

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