Despite being arrested in the early morning hours of Labor Day, Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot was back to business at a Tuesday board meeting in town hall. A News Channel 12 cameraman was noticably standing on the sidelines in the hopes of getting an on-air qoute from Kabot, who was charged with driving while intoxicated on Monday. However, Kabot didn’t break from her formal exterior and not a word was spoken by members of the public nor the town board about the incident.
In a statement released earlier in the week, Kabot said: “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.”
According to reports from Westhampton Beach Village Police, Kabot, 41, was seen crossing the double yellow line prior to making a left hand turn onto Main Street in Westhampton in her 2006 Gray Toyota on Monday, September 7, at around 12:25 a.m. Upon an interview, Kabot’s eyes were allegedly red and glassy and police claim her breath smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage. Police say Kabot failed all standard field sobriety tests, refused to sumbit to a pre-screen breath test and also refused an intoxilyzer test to determine her blood alcohol content.
John Penrose, 38, of Westhampton was arrested at the same location at around 12:29 a.m. for disorderly conduct, a violation, for interfering in a DWI investigation. Detective Edwin Hamor, however, couldn’t substantiate if Penrose was directly interfering with Kabot’s arrest.
Kabot was transferred to the Quogue Village Police Department because the Westhampton Beach Village Police Department doesn’t have holding cells. That morning, on Monday, Kabot was escorted to her arraignment at the Westhampton Beach Village Justice Court at around 9:10 a.m. Judge Robert Kelly, Jr., presided over the proceedings. During the arraignment, Kabot’s license was suspended but she entered a plea of not guilty to the DWI charges. Kabot is expected to appear next in court on Wednesday, September 30, at 1 p.m.
Kabot’s lawyer, James McManmon of Riverhead, declined to answer questions and said, “The matter is still under investigation and I am not going to make any statements to the press. That is my policy in this matter.”
Kabot is a born and bred Southampton Town resident, who graduated from Westhampton Beach Schools. After attending Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she returned home to the East End to try her hand in public service, a field she has worked in for the last 13 years. Kabot first served as the executive assistant to former town supervisor Vincent Cannuscio for six years before being elected to the town board. Kabot was a town councilwoman for the following six years.
In 2007, she hit the campaign trail going toe to toe with former town supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney, but by September of that year Kabot secured the Republican Party nomination for supervisor and by November she had won the four-way race. Kabot was sworn into office in January of 2008, becoming the first Republican female supervisor in Southampton Town history and was the first woman to nab the position in over two decades.
Kabot boasts an illustrious resume, but the last year of her career has been a bumpy ride for the supervisor. Ealier in 2009, the town discovered several years worth of substantial accounting errors and faced serious budgetary issues as a result of the recession. This November, Kabot is seeking re-election to her post. She failed to receive backing from the Integrity Party and the Southampton Town Conservative Committee, but is on the Republican line. She and is being challenged by current councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst.