Published on June 7th, 2013 | by Daniel Perlman0
Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office detective charged with DWI
A detective with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office will make his first appearance in court later this month on the latest in a string of charges stemming from allegations that he was drunk when the Jeep he was driving rolled down a ski slope, injuring him, his wife and young son, his lawyer and authorities said.
Michael Fertitta, 39, was issued a driving while intoxicated summons May 30, weeks after he was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of assault with a vehicle. He has pleaded not guilty those charges and is due in court June 26 for a hearing on the DWI charge.
He has been suspended with pay while the charges are pending, his attorney, James Pomaco, said.
His wife, Kelly, also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and has pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer, Anthony Iacullo, said he filed an application in court Tuesday for her to participate in the Pre-Trial Intervention program, which if completed would erase the charge.
“That’s something we’re hoping for,” Iacullo said of the program, which helps generally first-time offenders avoid prosecution through rehabilitation. “She’s the perfect candidate.”
Michael and Kelly Fertitta had been drinking wine at a winery in Vernon on May 4 shortly before taking the family off-roading in a Jeep Wrangler, authorities and court papers state. Michael Fertitta had a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 – more than twice the legal limit for driving – while his wife’s was 0.034, under the legal limit of .08, Sussex County authorities said.
The couple’s 6-year-old son was thrown from the Jeep when it tumbled down a steep ski slope, known as The Pipeline, according to court papers filed in Sussex County. The boy suffered a concussion but has since recovered and returned to school, Iacullo said.
Michael Fertitta is recuperating at an inpatient rehabilitation center and has so far been unable to attend court hearings. It’s unknown whether he will appear at the June hearing.
“He does not recall anything in regard to the alleged offense,” Pomaco said. “Basically his short-term memory is gone.”
Kelly Fertitta, 43, is receiving therapy for wrist and shoulder injuries, Iacullo said.
Source: northjersey.com “Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office detective charged with DWI among series of charges,” June 6, 2013.