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Long Island Priest Heads To Court To Fight Traffic Ticket 9 Years Later

FLOWER HILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island priest will soon have his day in court.

He's waited nearly a decade to fight a traffic ticket, and he's persistent.

Reverend Father Guy Dioguardi, a Port Washington resident, remembers it like it was yesterday.

"The car in front of me was going too slow. I wanted to merge over into the next lane," he told CBS2's Valerie Castro.

But the day he got a traffic ticket on a stretch of Port Washington Boulevard in the village of Flower Hill was in 2010, more than nine years ago.

"The cop came out of a side street and pulled me over for not using my turn signal," Dioguardi said.

Despite working turn signals, Dioguardi says he used his arm, an acceptable way to signal, according to the New York State DMV handbook.

But his guilt or innocence is only half the story.

Despite an offer at the time to plead guilty to a lesser offense -- a $200 parking ticket -- Dioguardi decided to take his chances and fight it in court.

But he says the village told him he would have to wait.

"The police officer needs to come in. There needs to be 10 people that are also having trials. We'll let you know when that happens," Dioguardi said.

It eventually happened, almost a decade after the fact.

"Really? Nine years later? I expected this to be thrown out because it was against my constitutional rights of a speedy trial," Dioguardi said.

The priest says he is also a trained paralegal, ready with case law in-hand to have his day in court.

"Am I worried? No. Am I going to be found guilty? I don't think so," he said.

CBS2 reached out to the village attorney on the matter. He declined to comment.

Dioguardi says he plans to be there for his court date on June 26, and he's hoping that after nine years, the case might finally be dismissed.

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