Former Rep. John Sweeney was charged with aggravated DWI when he was pulled over by State Police early this morning on the Northway with a 23-year-old woman in his car, police told the Daily News.[..]
State Police had no comment when asked the identity of the passenger in Sweeney's 2004 BMW sedan. Sweeney was also ticketed for driving erratically. A law enforcement source said Sweeney's car had been swerving and the woman was seated partially on his lap when Trooper Phillip Dickson first spotted him.
Sweeney's blood alcohol content registered at .18 (fixed) percent when he was checked at the Clifton Park station, according to Lt. Scott Coburn. He was ordered to appear in Clifon Park Town Court Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Sweeney got his political start as executive director of the state GOP, where he helped Rudy Giuliani win his first mayoral campaign in 1993 and also worked on George Pataki's successful bid to oust former Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1994. He served as Pataki's first Labor Commissioner and ran for Congress in 1998 to succeed retiring Rep. Gerald Solomon. Sweeney earned the nickname "Congressman Kick-Ass" from President Bush for his role in the 2000 Flordia recount protests.
The ex-congressman has a history of alcohol-related incidents, and he and his estranged wife have indicated alcohol was a factor in the domestic incident which led to an embarassing police report that was leaked to the Daily News, the Albany Times Union and Newsday shortly before last year's congressional election. Sweeney lost that race to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.
During the campaign, Sweeney was severely embarrasased when photos of him at a Union College frat party were publicized. In 2001, he drove his Jeep into a telephone pole in the Adirondacks, shutting off electricity to the nearby Willard Mt. resort and stranding skiers on a chair lift.
Oops. Sweeney's campaign was embarrassed further with news that he physically abused his wife and that both he and his son had incidents with alcohol and violence. Duncan has more...