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Ex-judge hearing traffic cases pleaded to leaving scene in '98

Martin J. Kerins, a former Republican judge once convicted of leaving the scene of a car accident, has ended up as administrative hearing officer in Suffolk’s new traffic violations bureau.

Kerins, 75, has made $3,450 working part-time in the Suffolk’s new traffic court since May which is supposed to generate new revenue for the cash-strapped county.

Kerins was arrested in 1997 for driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of the accident, as well as second degree assault of a police officer and resisting arrest. At the time, he refused to take a blood alcohol test.

Kerins, who then was Brookhaven’s deputy supervisor, later pleaded guilty to a single charge of leaving the scene of an accident and Rudolph Cartier, his lawyer, said he was “wildly overcharged.” Kerins who was a district court judget from 1984 to 1988 was re-elected to the bench as a county court judge in 2001 and retired when he reached 70.

Paul Margiotta, the bureau’s executive director, said he was unaware of Kerins’ past, but said the court is using hearing officers from a list certified by Suffolk Administrative Judge C. Randall Hinrichs and he plans to keep using him. “His behavior here has been above reproach,” he said.

Tags: Martin J. Kerins , Suffolk , car accidents , Brookhaven , Republicans , traffic bureau , Paul Margiotta , C. Randall Hinrichs

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