Police Probe Fuels Kennedy Controversy

Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., received three "notices of infractions" in connection with his early morning car crash near the Capitol, according to a police report.

The report by a U.S. Capitol Police officer said Kennedy drove his green 1997 Ford Mustang convertible into a security barrier near the Capitol shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday, and that Kennedy had red, watery eyes, slurred speech and unsteady balance.

Kennedy, 40, told the officer he was "headed to the Capitol to make a vote," the report said. It said he failed to keep in proper lane, traveled at "unreasonable speed" and failed to "give full time and attention" to operating his vehicle.

Kennedy spokeswoman Robin Costello acknowledged that the police report was filed, but said "we have no knowledge of any citations." Kennedy aides received the accident report Friday morning at his congressional office, said Costello, who is Kennedy's spokeswoman in Rhode Island.

Capitol Police had no comment Friday beyond a statement posted on their Web site, said spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. That statement said, "The United States Capitol Police are continuing to investigate."

CBS News reports that Capitol Hill police on Friday were at the Hawk & Dove, a popular Capitol Hill bar as part of their investigation.

One source has told CBS News that an employee at the bar has said he did see Kennedy there.

The Boston Herald reported that a hostess at Hawk & Dove told the newspaper she saw him drinking in the hours before the crash.

"He was drinking a little bit," said the woman, who works at the Hawk & Dove and would not give her name to the paper.

According to the Herald, a bartender at the Tune Inn, which is next to the Hawk & Dove, also said Kennedy was spotted in the Hawk & Dove Wednesday, but Hawk & Dove manager Edgar Gutierrez said he was working Wednesday night and did not see the congressman. The paper says Kennedy refused to say whether he had been at the bar.

Kennedy was planning to return to Rhode Island on Friday in hopes of defusing the controversy surrounding the Thursday morning crash, including allegations he got special treatment from police who did not administer field sobriety tests.

Kennedy denies asking for special treatment. When he left his office at 10 p.m. Thursday night, he said, "I never asked for any preferential treatment." Asked whether he received it, he said "that's up for the police to decide."

As CBS News correspondent Joie Chen reports, Kennedy says he'd taken a prescription anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness, but consumed no alcohol, before crashing his car near the Capitol.

In a statement, Kennedy said the attending physician for Congress had prescribed Phenergan to treat Kennedy's gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

Kennedy said that after working Wednesday evening he went home and took "prescribed" amounts of Phenergan and Ambien, another drug that he sometimes takes to fall asleep.
  • Melissa McNamara

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