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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ipswich selectman charged with drunken driving



By Steve Landwehr
Staff writer (Salem News)



IPSWICH — Ipswich Selectman Patrick McNally was arrested for drunken driving early Sunday morning in Troy, N.Y., after being stopped by police and failing a sobriety test.

A blood-alcohol test later showed his alcohol level to be .13, according to police — well over the legal driving limit of .08.

Chief Gerald Beston of the Watervliet, N.Y., police said McNally, 57, was seen drinking beer in a bank parking lot in that city shortly after midnight Saturday.

A police officer who approached him said McNally dropped the bottle and denied ever having it in his hand. The officer advised McNally of New York's law against drinking in public and cautioned him not to drive. Beston said McNally told the officer he had no intention of driving.

But just a few minutes later, Beston said, police officers saw him driving. Police tried to stop McNally, who pulled over after crossing a bridge into next-door Troy.

Watervliet is a city of just over 10,000 outside of Albany, N.Y., near the Massachusetts border.

Reached by phone yesterday, McNally, who was elected to his sixth term as a selectman this spring, would only say, "I don't comment on allegations about my personal life."

This is the second time in less than five months a town official has faced charges of driving under the influence. Town Manager Robert Markel was stopped by Topsfield police when he was observed driving erratically on Route 1 on Feb. 12, three days after he began his new job as town manager.

After admitting in court that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him on drunken-driving charges, Markel was ordered to pay $600 in fines and complete an alcohol education program. His case was continued without a finding for one year, and will be dismissed at the end of that time if he stays out of trouble.

Following the town manager's arrest, McNally said Markel's punishment was up to the courts. He faced no disciplinary action from the town.

"I think as long as everybody's safe and people own up to the truth, that's something to listen to," McNally said. "I hope the community will learn something from his mistakes."

Yesterday, Selectman Elizabeth Kilcoyne said she had not heard of McNally's arrest, and would only say, "That's really too bad. I hope he's all right."

Selectman Ingrid Miles said she had not heard the news, either, and was not prepared to comment.

Selectmen Jim Foley and Ed Rauscher did not return calls.

McNally was released on his own recognizance after his arrest, Watervliet police said, and appeared for an arraignment yesterday morning. He is scheduled to return for a court hearing in mid-July.

Chief Beston said police checked McNally's driving history as a matter of course and, "It looks like he has a clean record."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Residents worry about youths after selectman's arrest



By Steve Landwehr
Staff writer (Salem News)



IPSWICH — As residents absorb news that a second town official faces charges of drunken driving, many are questioning the examples being set for young people.

"That was my first reaction — good role models," School Committee member Dianne Ross said yesterday.

Karen Gold is the mother of three children in the Ipswich schools and also teaches at Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield.

"It's depressing and it's discouraging," she said when told Selectman Pat McNally was arrested and charged with drunken driving near Albany, N.Y., early Sunday morning. "I worry about role modeling. I've never driven drunk and I never would."

Gold's husband, Jeff, volunteers as a coach of numerous youth sports teams. He said after a hard day of work, he might like to relax with a drink or a beer, but he never does if he's going to be driving, or coaching youngsters.

"I make a conscious decision I won't do it," he said. "You hear about what's taking place with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders having problems with drinking, so as adults we have to think about the examples we set."

McNally's arrest comes four months after Town Manager Robert Markel faced similar charges. It also comes after a number of parents were angered by the shot glasses handed out as party favors at the high school's junior prom last month.

That combination has Susan Otis, who along with Giselle Rein owns the Otisrein Gallery on South Main Street, wondering how kids are supposed to look up to adult role models.

"It's a question that somebody has to answer, especially for teenagers," Otis said.

Markel would not comment on McNally's arrest yesterday.

The town is also the site of two makeshift memorials to young people killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. Telephone poles mere yards apart on Linebrook Road are constantly decorated with homemade homages to Lisa Sparaco, who was killed at 17 when the car she was riding in struck one pole in 2003, and to Charlie Fowler, who was 22 when he hit a pole only 200 feet away a month later and was also killed.

Jeff Gold said his children are old enough to ask questions when they pass the crosses and flowers frequently left at the poles, and he has to explain that bad things happen when you drink and drive, no matter how old you are.

"Our leaders and our teachers have to be smarter," he said. "They have to set an example."

McNally was re-elected to his sixth term as selectman this spring. He has also declined to comment on the New York arrest. He is scheduled to be back there next month for a court hearing.

School Committee member Ed Traverso spent his career in education, 17 as a teacher of middle- and high-schoolers, the others training other teachers. He said he believes kids have "a keen sense of fairness," and while they may not necessarily see a selectman or town manager as a role model, they do pay attention to how they're treated when they have a problem.

"One of their complaints is that they think they perceive adults are treated differently than they are," Traverso said. "They watch what's happening in the community and they often say, 'That's just not fair.'"

Fellow School Committee member Ross agreed.

"You tell them, 'Don't,' and they say, 'What about so and so?'"

Karen Gold said she likes McNally personally and admitted, "It's hard balancing mercy and justice," but also said she had "zero tolerance" for drunken drivers.

Jeff Gold said while he wasn't sure McNally should resign his elected position, something more than an apology is in order.

"'I'm sorry' isn't good enough," he said, "and that's typically what we hear from our leaders. The accountability aspect is missing."

McNally's fellow board members would not comment on his arrest yesterday. The board is next scheduled to meet on Monday, July 25.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
McNally gets second adjournment



(single page view)
(view as multiple pages)By Steve Landwehr
Staff writer




IPSWICH — Selectman Pat McNally's appearance in a New York court on charges of drunken driving has been postponed for a second time. McNally is now due for a hearing in Watervliet City Court on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

A Watervliet court clerk said it was "not at all unusual" for a court appearance to be adjourned twice.

McNally was arrested and charged with drunken driving in the early morning hours on Sunday, June 26, in Troy, N.Y., after being stopped by police and failing a sobriety test. A blood-alcohol test later showed his alcohol level to be .13, according to police — well over the legal driving limit of .08. He was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08, separate offenses in New York.

According to the police report, McNally, 57, was seen drinking beer in a bank parking lot in Watervliet shortly after midnight Saturday, June 25. A police officer who approached said McNally dropped the bottle and denied ever having it in his hand. The officer advised McNally of New York's law against drinking in public and told him not to drive.

McNally told police he had no intention of driving, but just a few minutes later, according to the police report, police officers saw him driving, and he was pulled over after crossing a bridge into next-door Troy.

Watervliet is a city of about 10,000 people near Albany, N.Y.

McNally did not return phone calls yesterday seeking comment.
 

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Arlington selectman charged with drunken driving

WHAT ABOUT CHARLIE LYONS-SELECTMEN IN ARLINGTON ALSO SUPER OF SHAWSHEEN TECH BUSTED FOR DUI RECENTLY....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ipswich selectman admits to impaired driving; license suspended
By Steve Landwehr
Staff writer



IPSWICH - Selectman Patrick McNally yesterday pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving with his ability impaired in Watervliet, N.Y., on June 26.

His license was suspended for 90 days, although the court issued him a 20-day temporary license. The suspension will begin when the temporary license expires. McNally will also have to pay $375 in fines, attend an alcohol safety awareness program and spend a night with a Victim Impact Panel, in which families of victims of drunken drivers talk about their experiences.

McNally faced charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08, separate offenses in New York. He did not return a call yesterday seeking comment.

Jim Foley, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, also would not comment.

"As we've (selectmen) said before, it's a personal matter with Pat and we wish him well," Foley said yesterday.

McNally was arrested and charged with drunken driving in the early morning hours on Sunday, June 26, in Troy, N.Y., after being stopped by police and failing a sobriety test. A blood-alcohol test later showed his alcohol level to be .13, according to police - well over the legal driving limit of .08.

According to the police report, McNally, 57, was seen drinking beer in a bank parking lot in Watervliet shortly after midnight Saturday, June 25. A police officer who approached said McNally dropped the bottle and denied ever having it in his hand. The officer advised McNally of New York's law against drinking in public and told him not to drive.

McNally told police he had no intention of driving, but just a few minutes later, according to the police report, police officers saw him driving and pulled him over after he crossed a bridge into next-door Troy.

Although McNally's plea yesterday was to a lesser charge, Watervliet City Court Clerk Robin Robillard said the infraction will be part of his driving record.

Watervliet is a city of about 10,000 people near Albany, N.Y.

McNally's June arrest marked the second time in less than five months an Ipswich town official faced charges of driving under the influence. Town Manager Robert Markel was stopped by Topsfield police when he was observed driving erratically on Route 1 on Feb. 12, three days after he began his new job as town manager.

After admitting prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him on drunken-driving charges, Markel was ordered to pay $600 in fines and complete an alcohol education program. His case was continued without a finding for one year and will be dismissed at the end of that time if he stays out of trouble.
 
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