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Kennedy Arrest Draws Mixed Reactions on Privacy

While some locals say anyone named Kennedy should expect public scrutiny others said they should be left alone.

Reactions to the arrest of Kerry Kennedy were mixed in town on Monday after the latest in a series of disturbing stories involving members of the famous clan who live in Bedford again brought New York City media and national attention to the typically-quiet area.

Kennedy, 52, was charged with drug-impaired driving Friday morning— and plans to fight in court tonight, according to her attorney, Robert Gottlieb.

Some residents interviewed for this story said Kennedy, the ex-wife of Gov. Cuomo and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, should be left alone, particularly in the aftermath of the suicide of Mary Kennedy, her sister-in-law and close friend in a barn behind her Bedford home.

"What if it was simply an accident?" said Peter Michaelis, a former newsman, longtime Bedford resident and friend to Mary Kennedy. "We don't even know all of the facts yet. We should let the justice system take its course."

According to police reports, Kennedy's 2008 Lexus collided with a truck on I-684 northbound, causing her car to get a flat tire. Police found her on Route 22, just a few miles from her Chestnut Ridge Road home. 

Michaels went on to say that Kennedy was one of "the most responsible" people he knows and does "nothing but good" in her work as president of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Another longtime Bedford resident said the very reason celebrities and other notable individuals move to the area is to escape the paparazzi and live quietly among locals who generally leave them alone.

"If these charges were brought against anyone else, we wouldn't see all this information in the papers," said Vincent Trotta, a village resident who was shopping in Bedford Village Monday afternoon.

But other locals said the family name warranted the close scrutiny of this incident and the others this year, including an incident involving Kerry Kennedy's brother, Douglas Kennedy, who is facing harrassment and child endangerment charges and his own media scrutiny involving his Bo through

"It's a hard fact of public life—the details of your life are in the limelight," said Rose Straeht, a Mt. Kisco resident who followed the coverage of Mary Kennedy's suicide closely. "When the facts come out, if she was impaired, she needs to get help. And I do feel sorry for her daughters."

Joe LaMonica, who was visiting Bedford Monday with his wife Jane LaMonica to attend the funeral of Jayne Wilkinson, said Kennedy's arrest had been a topic of conversation during their drive from their home in western Massachusetts.

"Everyone knows their business—it's the Kennedy name that puts them under the magnifying glass," he said. "I think it is a story—in Bedford, in New York and nationally. They need to be held accountable for their actions," he said. His wife added that although she sympathized with her situation, any impaired driving was dangerous, and needed to be addressed and discussed.

in the North Castle town hall building in Armonk at 6 p.m.

Portia Torte July 17, 2012 at 03:14 PM
It's not the Kennedy name that gets this kind of behavior in the press. The press in our area routinely covers all drunk/drug impaired driving cases. My neighbors have been prominently presented with their deep seated alcohol and drug related driving mishaps.
jungis4545 July 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Has Mary Jo Kopechne been reached for comment?

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