NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Niagara Falls City Council member who is facing a misdemeanor DWI charge after a weekend crash was scheduled to be arraigned in city court Monday morning. Ezra Scott’s arraignment didn’t happen, though, and his case has been put on hold.
Niagara Falls City Court Chief Judge Mark Anthony Violente recused himself from the case because of what he called an “obvious conflict”. He said he could not accept any plea.
Ezra Scott is an elected official in Niagara Falls, and trying this case, or even starting the process by accepting a plea, in a Niagara Falls courtroom could have the appearance of impropriety, the judge said.
The case will now be reassigned to another court.
Scott, who has served as a member of the Niagara Falls City Council since 2015, is charged with Driving While Intoxicated and some traffic violations after police say he crashed his car on the 300 block of Hyde Park Boulevard early Saturday morning. We’re told he hit a pole and left property damage, but no one was hurt.
Scott’s attorney says sending the case to a different court is the right call. “That means they’re saying listen they’re not going to handle it here. because everybody knows everybody and the best bet is to let it be handled somewhere else,” said Terrence McKelvey, who appeared in court with Scott Monday morning.
We are still waiting for word on when and where Scott’s arraignment will be held now.
McKelvey says his office will be notified by mail about the details.