Councilman arrested for DUI
Is seems like the Chris Campos DUI case is finally over. Since I wasn’t there – and I’m not 100% sure exactly how to read this WebCrims site – it looks like he pled guilty to the lowest charge – got fined a few hundred bucks – lost license for 90 days (not sure if it was retroactive – since he got busted once for driving with a suspended one) and it seems as if they’re meeting again at the end of January 2009..
In case anyone remembers who Chris Campos is – might be interested that the former 4th Ward Councilman’s 21 month old DUI court case resumes again today.
FYI – Case postponed till later in the week (September 25, 2008):
5/19/2008 Update (final, I hope):
Today is the day the hearing and trial is supposed to take place for Chris Campos DUI incident.
What do you think the outcome will be?
Jury selection begins April 7th for the DUI trial of former fourth ward Councilman Chris Campos. Attorneys for both sides indicated in court today they are finally ready to move forward. Once again, speculation that Campos would use today’s court appearance to enter into a plea bargain agreement turned out to be false, as the two sides go full steam ahead to a trial next month!
Will we be able to finally say “case closed” on the Chris Camps DUI trial?
1/17/2008 1:55pm Expanded Update :
A Hoboken411 reader stopped by New York Criminal Court Part D this morning to catch the latest developments in the Chris Campos DUI debacle. Here’s what I found out:
Well over a hundred defendants were on the court calendar, many for DUI and others for violations of Orders of Protection, etc. Campos was very early on the docket as the fifth case on the rapidly moving list. Our contact missed what was a brief appearance of the former fourth ward councilman, but sat through about an hour and a half of other cases.
The vast majority of DUI offenders in court called up to face the judge simply took plea deals, some as puny as $300 fine, 6 months drivers license suspension and enrolled in a DUI program. Repeat offenders faced stronger sentences, but few offered any kind of defense. They just took their pleas and moved on. One guy got a DUI for drinking on his job as a parking lot attendant. They should call it PUI — Parking Under the Influence. (“Now hiring in Hoboken!”)
The court was not prepared today for a trial of the kind that Campos wants involving testimony related to recordings of the arrest, etc. Apparently Campos’ defense team was still not ready for trial, so the hearing was postponed to March 13. There may not even be a trial on the 13th, just another hearing on whether or not whatever information, supporting depositions, audio/video recordings, etc. that Campos is demanding has actually been presented by the prosecutors and the police. At this rate the case could still be pending on the second anniversary of the arrest!
1/17/2008 12:47pm Update (first on the web): Trial once again postponed. March 13, 2008 is the new date.
Trial finally happening today?
Anniversary parties can be fun. Baby turns one year old, or new business in town has their first year party, and even Hoboken411 is approaching the second anniversary! (Party plans in the works…)
It’s almost a year since Campos started his car that essentially stopped his political career. Should we have a one-year anniversary party for him? Then again, as much as people busted my chops for poking fun at Artie Lange, maybe this should be filed in the same folder? You know, the “It doesn’t really matter” one?
I’ll probably still be asleep when he’s on trial today, but hopefully one of my little birdies will send me the outcome, if any. Anyone bored enough to voluntarily go to the trial?
Yesterday was the scheduled 5th attempt at trying former 4th Ward Councilman Chris Campos for his NYC DUI charges in January of 2007.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office said he was a “no show”, while Campos (who was apparently in Aruba) said the postponement was “pre-arranged”. The DA said that if this happens again, a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
I bet he wishes that the 4th Ward Election got this many chances too. I wonder if he pays his bills on time?
Campos DUI Trial delayed again
Another court date, another delay for the DUI trial of former Councilman Chris Campos, who will not have to face trial until after the November election. The Jersey Journal reports Campos won a delay in his New York City trial until November 19th after attorney Louis Zayas successfully argued for more time to complete discovery.
Zayas told the court he still has not received a video tape he asked for of the arresting officer, Joseph Liotta, making a “courtesy call” to the Hoboken Police Department after he busted Campos during a late night drive on 42nd street. The paper says Zayas is also waiting for an Internal Affairs investigation into Liotta by the New York Police Department to be completed.
Campos ends job in WNY
Former Hoboken Councilman Christopher Campos is no longer the municipal prosecutor in West New York.
The town has replaced him with Union City-based attorney Charles D’Amico, who will take up his new position Monday.
The town also appointed Maurice Gonzalez as the new public defender as part of a reorganization of all legal representation within the town.
Campos did not respond to the “request for qualifications” and reapply for the job after his one-year contract expired at the beginning of last month. He said he agreed to remain on as the municipal prosecutor until the end of June.
He still has two courtroom battles of his own to fight. He will be the plaintiff on June 30 as he seeks to challenge the results of last month’s runoff election in which he was defeated by Dawn Zimmer for the Hoboken 4th Ward council seat, and he will be a defendant in New York City in a drunken driving trial that’s set to resume Sept. 17.
However, Campos said, his decision not to reapply for the prosecutor’s job had nothing to do with either case.
“I did not respond to the RFQ because I did not want to work for someone I did not support for the state Senate,” said Campos, who supported Union City Mayor Brian Stack in his primary win over West New York Mayor Sal Vega.
Vega said he relied on the advice of West New York Corporation Counsel Daniel Horgan in filling the positions.
Read more about Campos below.
Delayed until September. Will anyone even care at that point?
Campos gets delay in DWI trial
Hoboken City Councilman Chris Campos was granted a delay this morning of his DWI trial in New York City.
Campos’ attorney, Louis Zayas, requested the results of an internal investigation into the police officer who pulled him over on the night of Jan. 20, as well as an official transcript of the radio conversation between the cop, Joseph Liotta, and the Hoboken police department, which he called that night. Campos also wants a transcript of a conversation between Liotta and a dispatcher in New York.
He has also requested copies of the sobriety tests.
“We requested a full discovery and we haven’t been granted that,” said Campos.
Campos was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 20 after cops saw him run a red light in his Mercedes Benz on the West Side Highway, according to police reports.
Campos is charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated and one count of driving while impaired. Police say a Breathalyzer test revealed that he had .097 blood alcohol level. The legal limit is 0.08.
Liotta called the Hoboken Police Department on the night of his arrest and asked if Campos should be held as a “guest of the city.” The cop who picked up the phone in Hoboken, Sgt. James Peck, told Liotta to “do your duty” and “enforce the law.”
If convicted, Campos faces a $300 fine, mandatory time in a rehab program and a 90-day suspension of his driver’s license.
His new trial date is Sept. 17.
Here’s the advice I get from Mr. Campos’ “camp”: If you want to drink and drive, pound the drinks REALLY fast, then leave before it “sinks in”. Then feel the love of your drunkenness when (if) you make it home.
Campos wants DWI case delayed again
Hoboken City Councilman Christopher Campos has a big day tomorrow. Not only has he asked for a recount of the results of the Fourth Ward runoff election — which he apparently lost, 892 to 886, to Dawn Zimmer — but he also is scheduled to appear in Room 419 of Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Center St., at 9:30 a.m. to answer his drunken driving charge.
Campos was arrested early in the morning of Jan. 20 on the West Side Highway after New York cops said they saw him run a red light. They said a Breathalyzer test showed he was over the legal limit.
Campos said he wasn’t drunk at the time, and that he will ask for another postponement tomorrow because he is waiting for a tape of radio transmissions between New York City Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Liotta and another cop.
Campos says Liotta told his partner, “I’m going to test him again, to see if we can hold him.”
“It’s saying that when he tested me the first time, they couldn’t keep me based on that test. It just goes to show that when I was pulled over I may not have been impaired,” Campos said.
You can listen to Liotta talking to Hoboken Police Sgt. James Peck. In that conversation, Liotta asks Peck if, “hypothetically,” it would be “a good or maybe a bad thing for (Campos) to become a guest of the city tonight.” Peck tells Liotta to “do your duty” and “enforce the law.”
In March, Campos turned down a plea offer from the the New York County Prosecutor to plead guilty to “impairment,” a lesser charge than the DWI he faces.
“We rejected the offer because he wasn’t even impaired,” said Campos’s defense attorney, Louis Zayas, after the hearing.
Campos hearing postponed
A second pretrial hearing on Hoboken Councilman Christopher Campos’s second drunken driving arrest was postponed until June 27 — two weeks after an expected runoff in the City Council election for the Fourth Ward.
Although Campos was arrested in January, his defense attorney said the trial had to be postponed for another five weeks because the New York City Police Department has yet to provide video footage of the traffic stop that led to his arrest.
The first pretrial hearing date was set for today — five months after his Jan. 20 arrest in New York City, and a day after Hoboken’s non-partisan municipal election. Campos was the top vote-getter in the Fourth Ward but it does not appear he received enough votes to avoid a runoff with the top runner-up, Dawn Zimmer.
Campos was stopped early in the morning on Jan. 20 and given a field sobriety test. According to cops, he was then given three Breathalyzer tests and failed at least two of them.
After the first test, a man who identifed himself as a New York City cop called Hoboken police and asked, “hypothetically,” if Campos should be given a break. The Hoboken cop said no, and Campos was arrested.
He’s supposed to be in court today. Wonder if he’ll try to postpone again. The fact it’s going to trial makes no sense. He drank. He drove. He got caught. End of story.
Hoboken mayor finally weighs in on “courtesy call” controversy
Hoboken Mayor David Roberts finally spoke with The Jersey Journal today to address the controversial “courtesy call” an NYPD cop made to his police department before busting a Hoboken councilman on DWI charges.
Roberts’ comments came after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke with reporters to say he felt his officer had acted improperly in making the call.
Roberts, who has declined to comment since first contacted by the Journal on the matter on Friday, supported his officer’s actions, with a caveat.
“Our police officer conducted himself properly. Didn’t our officer tell the New York officer to do his job?” Roberts askedd rhetorically about Hoboken Sgt. James Peck, who is heard on the tape telling the New York cop to do his job and enforce the law. “Which side initiated the phone call? Did Officer Peck call the NYPD?”
“We should all remember this call was precipitated by New York, and Police Chief (Carmen) LaBruno has said he took the appropriate action on counseling Sgt. Peck on what to do, and that’s that,” Roberts said.
The “counseling” refers to Peck’s further comments during the call that the Hoboken cops and council have been unable to come to a contract agreement.
Bloomberg, meanwhile, took issue with the actions of NY Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Liotta, who placed the call regarding the “hypothetical” possible arrest of Councilman Christopher Campos.
“I think that the police officer that called the Hoboken Police Department shouldn’t have done it. Everybody should be treated equally,” Bloomberg told NY1 News. “You don’t go and call somebody just because of where they come from or who they happen to work for.”
Bloomberg added that he supported the NYPD’s decision to remove Liotta’s shield and weapon and transfer him from the Highway Patrol to desk duty with pay until the conclusion of an Internal Affairs investigation.
3/7/2007 The story continues..
From the Daily News:
Talk of springing DWI pol costs cop his badge
A city cop was placed on desk duty yesterday for allegedly trying to cut corners for a drunken New Jersey politician – a penalty backed by Mayor Bloomberg.
Police Officer Joseph Liotta was recorded allegedly asking a Hoboken police sergeant if he should release Hoboken City Council President Christopher Campos.
Campos was arrested and charged with drunken driving on the West Side Highway Jan. 20.
Liotta was transferred from the NYPD highway unit to administrative duty, and his gun and badge taken, as the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau investigated.
“I think that the police officer that called the Hoboken Police Department should not have done it. Everybody should be treated equally,” Bloomberg said.
Another 3/6/2007 Update:
“Sounds like a phone call between Paulie Walnuts and Tony.”
They just spent the last 1/2 hour or so talking about Campos on 92.3 Free FM. Callers chimed in about their experiences with “courtesy” cards and how City Officials should deal, etc. One cop indicated that, even though he imagined he was in the minority, that people like public officials and politicians should be expected even more to follow the laws, and not try to weasel out of them. Even relatives of cops didn’t necessarily think that just because they “knew” an officer that they should be given preferential treatment.
More funny stuff on their webpage.
Campos rejects plea deal in DWI case, opts for trial
Hoboken City Councilman Christopher Campos rejected a plea deal this morning on the drunk driving charge he faces in New York City, setting up a trial scheduled for May.
Campos, appearing in court in Manhattan this morning, turned down an offer from the New York County Prosecutor to plead guilty to “impairment,” a lesser charge than the DWI he faces.
The plea would have meant a $300 fine, a 90-day suspension of his driver’s license and classes on drinking and driving.
“We rejected the offer because he wasn’t even impaired,” said Campos’ defense attorney, Louis Zayas, after the hearing.
Zayas requested to put off the trial until May so he has a chance to see view a video recording of the arrest.
The defense has also requested that the audio recording of a phone call from the arresting officer to the Hoboken Police Department be presented as evidence at the trial.
In the recording, obtained by The Jersey Journal, New York City Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Liotta asked Hoboken Sgt. James Peck, who picked up the phone at Hoboken Police Headquarters, if Campos should be held “as a guest of the city.”
Peck immediately tells Liotta on the tape that the officer should “do you duty” and “enforce the law.”
Asked whether the City Council “favors” Hoboken cops, Peck repeatedly says that is “besides the point” but adds says that they don’t and that the police department have been without a contract for two years.
“I think the tape will show that the police didn’t follow proper procedures and my client got arrested for political, not legal, reasons,” said Zayas. “At the end of the day he will be proved innocent of these charges.”
Campos was pulled over on the West Side Highway early on the morning of Jan 20. after New York cops said they spotted him running a red light and a Breathalyzer test showed a blood alcohol level of 0.10.
Campos told The Jersey Journal that he was given three tests – the first showing a 0.08 — considered just over the legal limit — and a third taken after the call to Hoboken Police registering a 0.97.
This post was on a message forum indicating that it was a response to a letter sent to M.A.D.D.
Not sure if it’s legitimate or not.
“Thank you for contacting Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD. We are troubled that your community is struggling with this very serious problem. We are also very disturbed that your community leaders have not expressed or stressed the serious nature of Drinking Under the Influence. We appreciate the interest of citizens making our roadways safer for all citizens.
We have forwarded your concerns to our local chapter in your area. We would like to encourage you and anyone who has concerns on this matter to call your local MADD where we have trained advocates in each of our state offices and county chapters. They will be able to assist you and your community. Our NJ state office in Trenton, New Jersey can be contacted at609.585.7233, fax: 609.585.1890 or toll free at 800-448-MADD or our state executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Only by citizens speaking out will elected officials in New Jersey take this issue as serious as it should be. Drunk driving is 100% preventable, yet hundreds of New Jerseyans are killed and thousands seriously injured in crashes every year. We can’t afford to go backwards. We hope the elected officials in your community will take action and we are prepared to partner with your community to bring attention if not.
He ran a red light and had a BAC% above 0.10.
1/20/2007 8:30pm Update:
The NYPD has confirmed that Mr. Campos was indeed arrested at 43rd Street and “West Street” for DUI at 3:12am this morning. Not sure if that was meant to be 11th Ave (which is West End Ave.) or 12th Ave (which is the West Side Highway). NYPD Detective Sessa gave no additional information regarding this case (such as who the car was registered to, what his BAC % was, or how they tested him), since it is still an open case.
NOTE: This is just a rumor, and hasn’t been confirmed yet. If this turns out to be false, this will be retracted.
But, word on the street is that Hoboken Councilman Chris Campos may have been arrested last night in NYC for driving under the influence.
Some readers had emailed Hoboken411 as well as chatter on other websites indicating that it may have happened. The Hoboken Reporter has also been asked to investigate the legitimacy of this rumor. Sources say that the HPD was called by the NYPD early this morning. Allegedly, the NYPD asked if a “courtesy” should be issued, and that the HPD wanted nothing to do with that.
Again, it could all be inaccurate and just a false rumor.
Anyone else hear about this or can confirm it?