A Kennedy and a car accident

A police union official raises questions about Rep. Patrick Kennedy's early-morning accident near the U.S. Capitol.

Tim Grieve
May 5, 2006 2:06AM (UTC)

The jury's still out -- well, the thing is, there might not be a jury -- but this doesn't look good anyway: Roll Call is reporting that Rep. Patrick Kennedy was involved in a single-car accident near the Capitol early this morning, and there's an allegation that supervisors in the Capitol Police blocked an investigation into whether the Rhode Island Democrat was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

In a letter to the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, a police union official says that a car Kennedy was driving barely missed colliding with a Capitol Police squad car at 2:45 this morning, only to smash into a security barricade instead. The letter states that Kennedy staggered from the car and told officers that he was a member of Congress late for a vote. "The House had adjourned nearly three hours before this incident," the letter states.


Roll Call says the police union is complaining that sergeants from the department ordered patrol officers to leave the scene before they could conduct a field sobriety test. In his letter to the chief, the union official said he had been informed that Kennedy was then given a ride home by other Capitol Police officials.

Kennedy, the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, issued a statement this afternoon in which he confirmed that he had been involved in the accident but denied that alcohol was the cause. "I was involved in a traffic incident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol," Kennedy said in the statement. "I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Patrick Kennedy D-r.i.

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