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Town Official Fined, License Revoked In Fatal Accident

March 2, 1985

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. (AP) _ An upstate town official who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated after an accident that killed an elderly pedestrian was fined $500 and his license was revoked for three years.

Essex Town Supervisor James R. Morse Jr. also was put on three years probation Friday by Acting Essex County Judge Jan Plumadore and ordered to take remedial driving classes. It was the maximum sentence possible.

Morse, 43, pleaded guilty in February.

He was charged after the truck he was driving Jan. 28, 1984 struck and killed Olive Anson, 78, of Essex County. The accident occurred along Route 22 in the Essex County community of Wadhams.

At the time of the accident, Morse refused to take a breath test.

Relatives and friends of the dead woman had claimed that Morse evaded indictment on vehicular manslaughter charges because of his high position in local Republican politics.

But in public comments before sentencing, Plumadore ″made very clear the fact that Morse was treated as any other defendant before him would have been,″ said Court Clerk Cecile Hanfield.

Morse remains town supervisor.

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