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Officer testifies in Kabot drunken driving case

A Westhampton Beach police lieutenant testified Tuesday he "made a mistake" when he initially told detectives he had not spoken to anyone about the drunken driving arrest last September of then-Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot in the hours immediately afterward.

Testifying in a pretrial hearing in Riverhead Town Court, Lt. Trevor Gonce said he was still sleepy after a 10-hour work shift last Oct. 28 when two detectives asked him to fill out a court-ordered affidavit about his actions following Kabot's arrest.

Gonce said he first wrote that he did not speak to anyone. After the detectives left, he called and asked them to return to his house. He said he then filled out a second affidavit acknowledging he had discussed Kabot's arrest with one of the arresting officers and with Patrick Aube, president of the Southampton Patrolman's Benevolent Association.

"I was foggy, half-asleep," Gonce said, when asked by prosecutors why the first affidavit was wrong.

He testified on the second day of the hearing, at which Kabot's attorney, William Keahon of Hauppauge, is challenging the admissibility of a police video showing Kabot's arrest on Sept. 7.

Town Justice Allen Smith did not make a decision Tuesday on whether to allow the video at Kabot's trial. Testimony was set to resume Monday.

Westhampton Beach police charged Kabot with driving while intoxicated after they said she refused to take a breath-alcohol test. She has pleaded not guilty. Keahon has said he believes Kabot was set up by police.

Kabot, a Republican, lost her re-election bid in November to Democrat Anna Throne-Holst.

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