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Kerry Kennedy charged with impaired driving

2:24 PM, Jul 14, 2012   |    comments
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By James O'Rourke and Shawn Cohen

jorourke@lohud.com

NORTH CASTLE - Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was arrested Friday morning after leaving the scene of a car crash on Interstate 684. She was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, state police said.

The crash happened just south of Exit 4 about 8 a.m., when Kennedy is believed to have struck a tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes while driving erratically, state police said. No injuries were reported.

Investigators believe Kennedy then exited the interstate at Exit 3 with a flat tire. North Castle police found her car, a 2008 Lexus RS 350, disabled on Route 22 a short time later, police said.

Kennedy, 52, of Bedford, was found behind the wheel, state police said, noting that an investigation revealed she had been driving under the influence of drugs.

State Police Troop K Commander Maj. Michael Kopy said he could not say what type of drugs Kennedy is believed to have taken.

Kennedy, daughter of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and human rights activist, has three teenage daughters with the governor.

A spokesman for the governor's office declined to comment Friday evening.

Kennedy's spokesman, Ken Sunshine, of Sunshine Sachs & Associates, denied Kennedy had been under the influence of drugs Friday morning.

"Kerry Kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests - all of which showed no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system," Sunshine said in a statement released Friday. "The charges were filed before the test results were available."

As founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Humans Rights, Kennedy has reached out to students to stand up to injustice. In December, she spoke on the matter to several hundred fifth- and sixth-grade students at Seven Bridges Middle School in Chappaqua.

Kennedy also is the best-selling author of Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk About Change in the Church and the Quest for Meaning. The book was released in 2008.

Kennedy was close friends with her sister-in-law, Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who committed suicide on May 16.

After Mary Kennedy was charged with DWI in 2010, Kerry Kennedy accompanied her to a Bedford court hearing and wrote a letter supporting her to the judge.

She praised the late Mary Kennedy, someone she had known well since they met at a New England boarding school at age 15, as a "companion and confidant."

Mary Kennedy's DWI charge was disposed of when she was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, driving while impaired, a violation.

Later that same year, state police arrested Mary Kennedy again on another driving-while-ability-impaired charge. That too was dismissed, by a Pleasant Valley judge.

Kerry Kennedy was ticketed Friday and later released. She is to appear in North Castle Town Court at 6 p.m. Tuesday to answer to the misdemeanor DWAI charge.

Kopy said she had not been charged with any other crime in connection to the incident.

 

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