by Bea Peterson
Rensselaer County Legislator Stanley Brownell has pleaded not guilty to a DWI charge incurred on August 10 in Springfield, VT. According to Brownell’s attorney Daniel McManus, Vermont law states a first time offender has a right to refuse a breath test. Brownell refused it. “He is innocent until proven guilty,” said his attorney. “We haven’t seen the video that was taken in the processing room by Springfield Police.” He feels that the video will provide more evidence on Brownell’s behalf. McManus asked that people keep an open mind until the case comes to court. “It’s unfortunate that because of his position in the Legislature this case has had a lot of publicity.”
“Legislator Brownell has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence. He expects to bring the case to trial some time this fall,” said Richard Crist, Republican Legislative Liaison from the Rensselaer County Legislature Majority Office. He added that so far as he knew, recently published stories appearing in several local daily newspapers had the facts correct.
The Eastwick Press does not have a copy of the police affidavit at this point, but, according to published reports, Brownell was stopped for driving 50 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone. He was also alleged to be weaving in his lane, which his attorney disputes. Brownell reportedly admitted to police that he had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.
The case is scheduled for the Windsor, VT, District Court at 3 pm on October 8.