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Sep 8, 2009 9:40 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town supervisor on DWI charge Monday in Westhampton Beach: 'Respect my privacy'

Editor's Note: For more on this story, including reaction from local officials, see the Sepetmber 10 issue of The Southampton Press.
Sep 8, 2009 9:40 AM

Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot was arrested by Westhampton Beach Police early Monday morning on Main Street in the village and charged with DWI, according to authorities.

Village Police said that Ms. Kabot, who is seeking reelection in November, was pulled over at 12:25 a.m. on Labor Day after she failed to maintain her lane after turning onto Main Street in Westhampton Beach and crossed over the double-yellow line.

The arrest report states that the Republican supervisor, who is 41 years old and lives in Quogue, refused to submit to a breath test after failing multiple field sobriety tests. The report also notes that, “upon interview, [Ms. Kabot’s] eyes were red and glassy and her breath smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage.”

Ms. Kabot was charged with DWI, a misdemeanor, and transported to the Westhampton Beach Village Police station at Village Hall. Westhampton Beach Sergeant Trevor Gonce on Monday would not say where Ms. Kabot was held prior to her arraignment.

Ms. Kabot was arraigned on Monday morning in Westhampton Beach Village Justice Court. She pleaded not guilty and was released on her own recognizance by Justice Robert Kelly Jr. Ms. Kabot’s licence was also suspended. She is due back in Westhampton Beach Village Court on Wednesday, September 30.

Ms. Kabot, who was wearing black capris and a blue blouse, stood in silence during her arraignment Monday morning. Her lawyer, James McManmon of Riverhead, entered the not guilty plea on her behalf.

After her arraignment, Ms. Kabot attempted to avoid two photographers by running to her car where her husband, Lance, was waiting in the driver’s seat.

Ms. Kabot, who has three children, was alone in her car at the time of her arrest. Village Police said they do not know if Ms. Kabot was driving a town-owned car at the time. Sgt. Gonce said he did not know where Ms. Kabot was coming from or heading to at the time of her arrest.

Ms. Kabot could not be reached for comment on Monday. The voice mail on her cell phone was full and not accepting any new messages, and calls placed to her home in Quogue were not immediately returned.

Later on Monday afternoon, she released a terse statement via email: “I am addressing this personal matter with my attorney through the appropriate legal channels. Please respect my privacy. Let the process run its course. I will not only have to vigorously defend against these charges in court, but also now must continue to defend my character and credibility as a public official. On the advice of my attorney, there will be no further comment at this time.”

The town supervisor, who suffered a political setback last week when she lost the Integrity Party line on November’s ballot, is being challenged by Town Board member Anna Throne-Holst in November.

A lifelong Southampton Town resident, Ms. Kabot was the executive assistant of former Town Supervisor Vince Cannuscio in 1996. She held that position until 2001, when she successfully ran for her first term as a Southampton Town Board member.

She was reelected to the position in 2005 and, in September 2007, ran a successful primary election that knocked then incumbent Town Supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney from the Republican line. Ms. Kabot then went on to win the general election in November 2007.

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