Former Southampton supe not guilty of DWI

02/04/2011 2:30 PM |

 | A smiling Linda Kabot fields questions from reporters alongside her lawyer.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | A smiling Linda Kabot fields questions from reporters alongside her lawyer.

Former Southampton supervisor Linda Kabot was acquitted of DWI charges in a Riverhead courtroom Friday.

She was also found innocent of refusing to submit to a pre-screen breath test and failure to maintain lane. Jurors did, however, find her guilty of running a stop sign, which is a traffic violation.

“As you can see, there are tears in my eyes and I certainly am joyful and a bit overwhelmed,” Ms. Kabot said to reporters as she left court.

Asked if she was surprised by the quick verdict, the former supervisor said, “I’ve never been in the criminal justice system before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I’m thankful for finally having the matter behind me.”

She wouldn’t comment on her political future or if she thought her arrest was a setup.

Read the Feb. 10 News-Review for full story.

Coverage before the verdict Friday:

The driving while intoxicated case against former Southampton supervisor Linda Kabot is now in the hands of the jurors, as her defense attorney and the prosecution wrapped up their closing  arguments Friday morning.

Ms. Kabot was arrested just after midnight on Labor Day, Sept. 7,  2010 and charged with DWI in Westhampton Beach Village.

The arrest was videotaped by police and shown in court, as well as distributed to the media. Both sides claim that tape proves their argument.

Defense attorney William Keahon said the tape does not show Ms. Kabot slurring her speech or being unsteady afoot, not does it indicate she swerved on Sunset Avenue and ran a stop sign turning onto Main Street, where she was eventually pulled over.

Mr. Keahon argues that there was a conspiracy to get Mr. Kabot, who was unpopular with the town Police Benevolent Association and had supported a proposal that would have required some long term officers to retire.

She said one of the arresting officers, Officer Steven McManus, was a delegate to the Suffolk County Police Conference, and that Officer  
McManus testified that he also made a cell phone call to Mr. Aube shortly after the arrest.

Mr. Aube also admitted calling Anna Throne-Holst, who was Ms. Kabot’s opponent in last fall’s election, shortly after the arrest. Ms. Kabot lost her reelection bid to Ms. Throne-Holst, two months after the arrest.

But assistant district attorney Anthony Baron said the video clearly shows that Ms. Kabot made seven driving errors while she was on tape, including crossing over the double yellow line, making a rolling stop at a stop sign, and failure to heed to some pedestrians crossing the street.

Mr. Baron also said Ms. Kabot rambles on the tape and failed to successfully executive several field sobriety tests in the tape.

He said the issues Mr. Keahon brings up about a conspriracy are just intended as distractions from the real issue, which was whether Ms. Kabot was driving drunk.

Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith is presiding over the case since all Westhampton Beach Village judges recused themselves, citing conflicts.

The jury is scheduled to return to court at 2 p.m. Friday.



43 Comment

  • Southampton Town needs to get their house in order ! The tax payers deserve better !!
    Take note of what happened years ago with the Hampton Bays police dept. and Greenport police dept.
    It might be time to merge Westhampton Police Dept. with the Southampton Town Police Dept.
    Southampton is a great Township and their Police dept’s. are second to none but, its always just a few that spoil it for everyone else !

  • Good for you Linda! Now go buy Billy a porterhouse at the Rendezvous and celebrate!

    Kabot for Supervisor!

  • Good for you Linda! Now go buy Billy a porterhouse at the Rendezvous and celebrate!

    Kabot for Supervisor!

  • That officer Aube called Ms. Kabot’s political opponent, Ms. Throne-Holst , suggests that the arrest was politically motivated. Officers McManus, and Aube should be suspended with pay, while the Suffolk County DA, Mr. Spota, investigates the officers for official misconduct. The Southampton Town Board should also remove Ms. Throne-Holst from office, until the DA can determine that she was not involved in a Watergate type conspiracy.

    Anthony from Southampton

  • Why didn’t she submit to a Breathalyzer?

  • One comment needs correction. I stated that if the Town loses it’s permit to run the facility then we would not have the ability to dispose of anything- like leaves, brush and tires. The solid waste is only part of the picture. i have no problem changing the code so that any company can pick up houshold garbage in any color bag they desire and take it any where they choose. However, the recycling requirements can not change. Those are part of state law and must remain. If we do not enforce that, we risk losing the permit. Scott

  • Scott,
    I’d like to believe that you are truly looking at both sides of the coin here, but it still looks as if you are hiding behind a State Law here which admittedly I have not been able to find or read. I would hope that it is written in such a way and not so rigid that it prevents better ways of doing things when they are presented and possible. If Go-Green is recycling the picked up garbage prior to it entering a landfill, then they become the source of the garbage, freeing the homeowner of that responsibility. I believe that this is indeed a better, more efficient and more ecologically sound way of recycling the planet’s waste. Relying on millions of Americans to do what’s right by the planet makes about as much sense as believing that the current way we do things is effective and can’t be done better. Centralizing and simplifying the system has got to be much more effective. Isn’t that one of the things a Town Board is for? Sorting out the ********? I hope the State Law allows for better ideas. I look forward to reading it..

  • Thank you for telling us what State Law you are looking at. As for the rest of the above comment, you are a bit short on specifics here, Scott. What year was this? Were they in violation of their own model? Were they doing what they say they were doing? Was their recycling documentation in order? Did this ruling deal with commercial as opposed to residential? Without the specifics, there may have been any number of reasons that led to the voiding of Hempstead’s permit. Post collection separation may have been and probably was only one of the many issues involved. For all I know, from your above statement, it may not have even been addressed in the decision. We probably need that ruling at the forum The State Law is about as clear as mud. It was in 1993 and it still is today. Source Separation does not appear to have any legal definition. Again, none that I could find anyway…

  • I agree that it should all be there and it should all be discussed at the forum.I asked the Town Attorney to have available all pertinant case law and copies of state and town code. Again,Iam coming to listen to what people have to say. I invited State DEC reps but do not know if any will be there. I am not coming to insist on a position but, merely tell you what the current law requires of us as a Town. Iwill bring any and all ideas to the DEC for consideration. Scott

  • Who said cardiac arrest?? No where in the article does it mention a diagnosis. All I read was that group of people acted to help someone in distress. And thank God they did. Too bad we live in a world where some people’s first thought is to point out the negative rather than celebrating the positive.