The drunken-driving case against former prosecutor Anne E. Adams has raised eyebrows in the legal community, after a State Supreme Court justice, a police lieutenant and a doctor all have filed legal papers supporting her claims that she wasn’t drunk that night.
Adams, 46, of Angola, who has been mentioned recently as a possible judicial candidate, was arrested on the aggravated DWI charge Sept. 2 in the Town of Hamburg. She is scheduled to be arraigned in town court this morning.
Police reports state that Adams’ blood-alcohol level was 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit, after she failed several roadside sobriety tests.
But State Supreme Court Justice Joseph G. Makowski, who was with her roughly an hour before her arrest that evening, has filed an affidavit as a witness in the case.
Four sources in Buffalo’s legal community say it is unusual for a judge to file written information in another judge’s case, and it’s unusual that the affidavits were filed before Adams has been arraigned.
While unusual, these steps aren’t necessarily improper, the sources added.
It’s more common for witnesses to make statements after police contact them and ask them what happened in a case.
Several sources close to the case claim that Makowski, in his affidavit, said Adams consumed two glasses of white wine that evening.
“He’s not filing the affidavit as a judge,” one law enforcement source said. “He’s filing it as a witness who claims to have information.”
Another source said Makowski’s affidavit corroborated the statement of a Shanghai Red’s bartender who claimed he served Adams two glasses of white wine and a glass of water that evening.
Makowski declined to comment.
Buffalo police Lt. Karen Healy also signed an affidavit. Sources say Adams called her after the arrest, and the lieutenant advised her to to go to a hospital emergency room to get a blood draw.
Healy could not be reached to comment.
The third affidavit was signed by a doctor, who claimed that Adams registered only a 0.01 percent blood-alcohol reading. It’s not clear when that blood was drawn and when it was tested.
Adams’ attorney, Leonard E. Krawczyk Jr., former chief of the Erie County district attorney’s DWI Bureau, already has brought a motion to dismiss the case, in the interests of justice, even before her arraignment.
At Adams’ scheduled arraignment today in Town of Hamburg Court, prosecutors are expected to oppose that motion to dismiss.
Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark has said that his office does not accept plea deals for anyone registering a blood-alcohol content of 0.21 or higher. However, those, like Adams, who have a reading of 0.18, 0.19 or 0.20 percent, may plead down from aggravated DWI to regular DWI, in most cases.
Clark refused to say whether Makowski or any other official called him about the case. But he insisted that no one has asked for special treatment.
“I’ve gotten no telephone calls from any individual asking for or seeking any special disposition in this case,” Clark said.
Officials with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) have vowed to follow this case closely to make sure everyone charged with DWI is treated equally.
Also, state troopers have begun an inquiry into anonymous tips that a State Police investigator tried to influence the outcome of the case.