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Exclusive: Duffy Apologizes for Lapse of Judgment

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – In the wake of Lewisboro Supervisor Charles Duffy’s plea deal Monday night in his DWI case, the town official sat down with The Daily Lewisboro for an exclusive interview and said he is finally able to offer a public apology.

“For the past two months I have been advised not to say two words: ‘I apologize,’” said Duffy, who was pulled over by State Police on Route 123 on the night of Aug. 12 when the officer observed him weaving over the double-yellow lines. “I apologize for the lapse in judgment. I apologize to my family, my friends and my running mates for letting them down.” ( )

Duffy’s case was moved to Somers Town Court after both Lewisboro judges recused themselves. The supervisor pleaded to the reduced charge of driving while ability impaired – a violation. He was originally charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor. His license was suspended for 90 days, but he was granted the ability to obtain a conditional license that would allow him to drive to work and attend to town business. Duffy was also fined $300 and charged $260 in court costs.

As part of his sentence, the court also required Duffy to seek alcohol counseling. He said that he was evaluated by an Oasis certified counselor and has been in a program ever since.

“[The arrest] happened on Aug. 12 and I have been in counseling since Aug. 16,” he said.

Duffy said he knows that as a community leader he needs to set a positive example and from that respect he’s let people down. He hopes to turn that around.

“A local mom came up to me and said she had a teenager who had read all about this,” he said. “She’s struggling with her child being exposed to alcohol and explained how I compounded her difficulties with my actions. I hope I can eventually address and repair these issues.”

Duffy said he wants to make the arrest a “personal turning point” in his life and is working with a support network and medical professional to make sure he isn’t tempted by alcohol again.

“My family and friends and the Town of Lewisboro are too important for me to allow personal anxieties and weaknesses to get in the way of leading a successful and whole life,” he said.

Duffy said that if his actions resulted in parents and teachers talking with kids about the dangers of drinking and driving, he hopes something positive comes of it.

“If someone is having this conversation at their dinner table, I brought it there with my actions,” he said. “I will make myself available to promote and address these issues that teens face on a daily basis.”

Duffy said he would be willing to go into local schools and hold discussions with students on the dangers of drinking and driving and the dire consequences that can result.

The supervisor also said that without the support of friends and family he would have never been able to make it through the problems that he created and is thankful that he never hurt anyone on the night he was arrested.

“I especially thank my family for its unbending support, along with the kindness of my friends and neighbors,” he said. “I also very much appreciate the excellent and wise legal counsel and the legal system itself for allowing me to admit my weaknesses and setting me on the direction of recovery with this troubling incident behind me.”

Duffy said he will now turn his attention to his campaign to be re-elected with revitalized vigor. He recently received support from both the Republican and Conservative parties, both of which have nominated him in his bid to retain the supervisor’s position.

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