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Oct 14, 2009 12:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New court date set in Kabot case

Oct 14, 2009 12:20 PM

Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot is due back in court on Thursday, October 29, and her lawyer is hoping to take her drunken driving case to trial that same day.

Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith scheduled Ms. Kabot’s upcoming hearing, which will be held in Riverhead Town Court, during a brief court conference on Wednesday. Ms. Kabot’s attorney, William Keahon of Islandia, said the hearings shouldn’t last more than two hours. He hopes to complete the hearings that morning, and have jury selection and the trial that afternoon.

Mr. Keahon said he’s trying to expedite the trial to clear his client’s name before Southampton Town residents cast their ballots in the November 3 election. Ms. Kabot, the Republican incumbent, is facing Southampton Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst, the Democratic nominee, in the race for town supervisor. “I’m trying to put everything together as quickly as possible,” he said.

But Assistant District Attorney Anthony Barone said the judicial process should not be rushed. He said that he’s still waiting for additional video footage of Ms. Kabot’s arrest from the Westhampton Beach Village Police.

Ms. Kabot was arrested and charged with a DWI on around 12:25 a.m. on Monday, September 7 on Main Street in Westhampton Beach. Village Police observed Ms. Kabot’s car crossing the double yellow line while making a left-hand turn from Sunset Avenue onto Main Street. According to the police report, the arresting officer said that Ms. Kabot’s breath “smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage,” and her eyes were “red and glassy.”

After her appearance Wednesday, Ms. Kabot said she understands that she is facing serious charges and the legal process must run its course. She wants her trial to be held before Election Day, November 3, because her reputation as a public official is at stake, she said.

Ms. Kabot was returning to her home in Quogue after attending a 40th birthday celebration at her sister’s home in East Moriches the night she was arrested. Mr. Keahon has previously said Ms. Kabot had one glass of wine that night at around 7 p.m., and a second glass between 9 and 9:15 p.m.

Ms. Kabot refused a breath test at the scene and other chemical tests at Westhampton Beach Police headquarters because she said she believed that the officers were “overzealous” in their approach. Her driver’s license has been suspended for one year for refusing the breath test.

Mr. Keahon repeated on Wednesday that his client was not intoxicated during the time of her arrest. He said he’s viewed the arrest tape of Ms. Kabot and maintains there is nothing on the tape indicating signs of drunkenness, namely slurring of speech and imbalance.

Four and a half minutes missing from that arrest video are “crucial,” and the Westhampton Beach Police Department needs to answer to that malfunction, Mr. Keahon said Wednesday.

The Westhampton Beach Police Department is being investigated by Suffolk County Police Internal Affairs Bureau and Mr. Keahon is waiting to see if any information from that investigation concerns Ms. Kabot’s arrest.

Ms. Kabot was scheduled to appear in Westhampton Beach Village Justice Court on Wednesday, September 30, but that meeting was cancelled after two village justices recused themselves from the case. Justice Court Judges Robert Kelly and Gair Betts both know Ms. Kabot personally.

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Quote:

. . . Assistant District Attorney Anthony Barone said. . .that he’s still waiting for additional video footage of Ms. Kabot’s arrest from the Westhampton Beach Village Police.

Quote:

Four and a half minutes missing from that arrest video are “crucial,. . . Mr. Keahon said Wednesday.

Odds are that both sides are talking about the same video footage. If the expected footage hasn't been delivered after five weeks, it doesn't exist. If the judge dismisses ...more
By highhatsize (3363), East Quogue on Oct 14, 09 2:34 PM
Funny how the only source of " missing footage " is only from mr. keahon ?
By T.J. (29), WHB on Oct 15, 09 8:33 AM
Rosemary Woods - do you work in Westhampton Beach now?
Interesting scenario - Linda haters will say she somehow got the "damaging" 4 1/2 minutes erased, while Linda backers will say the missing tape proved her innocence and points to a setup.
You can't make this stuff up!
Meanwhile this becomes the make or break issue while the budget runs amok and the STPD continues to employ individuals who should have retired;
and STPD PBA acts like the Praetorian Guard of ancient Rome, deciding ...more
By North of Highway (278), Westhampton Beach on Oct 14, 09 4:30 PM
3 members liked this comment
How long does it take to get four and a half minutes of video footage from the police department to the DA's office? You make a copy of the video tape, and then how long is the drive by car? Something's fishy here.
By Undertow (64), Southampton on Oct 15, 09 1:02 AM
theres nothing fishy at all about it. You must not be familiar with local government-- they are completely incompetant! They probably accidently erased it or something. (they probably have 5 cops working overtime to find it)
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 09 4:15 PM
I'm betting she gets off scott free.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Oct 15, 09 10:28 AM
of course she will-- thats always the outcome if you hire an expensive lawyer!
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 09 4:17 PM
Kabot is not going to lose because of her DWI, she is going to lose because of her role in years of mismanagement. Read the latest right here on 27East http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=237891&town=&n=Southampton%20Town%20personnel%20grew%20while%20revenues%20were%20abundant
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Oct 15, 09 7:17 PM
I disagree. If she loses it will be b/c of the dwi charge and the bad publicity that came with it.
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Oct 15, 09 8:45 PM
Its amazing how the right to a speedy trial only affects the rich and famous or the politcians and the shameless. Speed up the trial date, don't want to lose my voters....God forbid she is treated like the rest of us. She'll beat the case, just like all the other political figures, swept under the rug with the rest of the personnel she is laying off. Tis a pity, but then again thats justice in this era.
By golfer (7), Southampton on Oct 15, 09 11:04 PM
Golfer: Speedy trials, particularly on a case without a breath test are there for the taking in the East End. However, most accused do not want a trial, they want a plea bargain, and there is no rush for that.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Oct 16, 09 9:04 AM
Does anyone else find that the first sentence of this article to be off?Using the charged phrase "drunken driving" as opposed to the standard "DWI" written in non biased, non inflamatory news articles?
article quote:
" her lawyer is hoping to take her drunken driving case to trial that same day."

Maybe it wasn't intentional because the sentence also grammatically implies the lawyer is a female lol. I'm not a Linda Kabot supporter but it does seem like
she has been set up. ...more
By heath (18), southampton on Oct 16, 09 10:31 AM
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