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Chautauqua Lake superintendent pleads not guilty to DWI

March 24, 2016
By A.J. Rao ( , Westfield Republican

BUSTI - The Chautauqua Lake Central School District superintendent who was allegedly caught driving while intoxicated last month pleaded not guilty March 14 in Busti Justice Court.

Benjamin Spitzer, 52, who was charged with DWI and DWI per se, waived his arraignment via his counsel, Jamestown attorney Andrew S. Robinson Jr.

As standard procedure, Spitzer was directed to an alcohol screening, an automatic requirement for anyone charged with DWI. He is not entering an alcohol rehabilitation program, as was reported by several media outlets.

"Mr. Spitzer has cooperated in every regard in moving this matter through the legal system. On behalf of Mr. Spitzer, I want the record to be clear that a rehabilitation program has not even been discussed, let alone directed, in this matter," Robinson said.

Spitzer, whose driver's license was suspended, was also granted permission to travel to a number of job-related locations.

Spitzer was released on his own recognizance and will reappear in Busti Justice Court on April 20. He declined to comment on the proceedings.

Spitzer was pulled over on East Fairmount Avenue shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 26. He was processed by the Lakewood-Busti Police Department and later released.

Jay Baker, board president, issued a statement on behalf of the board shortly after the incident.

"The Chautauqua Lake Central School Board acknowledges receipt of the information concerning Superintendent Ben Spitzer, and the board is not in a position to take action until such time as due process of law is completed. Superintendent Spitzer is represented by private counsel in this matter at no cost to the district," it read.



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