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Brushton mayor returns from jail

BRUSHTON — For village Mayor Kevin Pentalow, it was back to business as usual Thursday — his first village board meeting since his release from the Franklin County Jail.

On Thursday night, no mention was made of his time away from the board. Instead, the board’s discussion centered on the possible creation of a water and sewer system, repairing the roads and the need for a crosswalk across U.S. Route 11.

The three-member village board has been operating without him since he was sentenced on Sept. 30 to 120 days in jail as a result of his conviction in July on two driving-while-intoxicated-related charges.

Unlike his first meeting after his arrest, when roughly 20 people turned out to show their support for the mayor, no village residents attended Thursday’s meeting.

Village voters can show their sentiments about Pentalow in March, when his current four-year term expires.

A six-man, six-woman Franklin County jury convicted Pentalow of DWI and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 of 1% or greater following a two-day trial.

Pentalow had originally been charged with third-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 of 1% or greater, all misdemeanors; and second-degree harassment, a violation, following a State Police investigation into a report of an assault on County Route 8 in the village. He was accused of striking a woman in the face during an altercation with the woman and two other men.

He was subsequently charged with second-degree attempted bribery, a felony, after the woman and one of the men claimed Pentalow had offered them money not to pursue the matter with law enforcement.

However, during his trial, several witnesses not involved in the incident provided different descriptions of the event that put the blame on the woman and two men, rather than Pentalow. The witnesses did, however, agree Pentalow had driven from the scene, and a breathalyzer test administered after Pentalow’s arrest showed his blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit, the state trooper who performed the test testified.

The jury acquitted him of all but the DWI charges.

In a statement to the court before sentencing, Pentalow said, “I will never let anything like this happen again” and noted that he had begun treatment for alcohol-related issues.