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Monday, October 6, 2014

Lockport Police Lt. Adam R. Piedmont, who was charged early Sunday morning with DWI in Newfane, was put on paid administrative leave this morning by Lockport Police Chief Larry Eggert.

Piedmont may face disciplinary action from the city in addition to his charges brought forth by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

Piedmont, 33, no address given, was charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to take a breath test, and operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile phone early Sunday morning after Piedmont had reportedly struck a car in front of 2769 S. Main St., Newfane.

While that is in court, Lockport Corporation Counsel John Ottaviano said Piedmont's work-related discipline is up to the city's Police Board.

"It will go to the police board for review and determination for what type of disciplinary action was taken," he said. "The police chief can make a recommendation to the police board but the police board is the ultimate deciding authority."

"It will be handled the same way (Officer Toby Trowbridge's) was," Ottaviano said.

Trowbridge was charged July 22, 2010 with DWI and tailgating after he rear-ended a 1997 Ford Mustang on South Transit Road. He was put on administrative leave by LPD and suspended without pay for 75 days. His trial was moved to Niagara Falls — after both Lockport City Court judges recused themselves — where a judge found him guilty of driving while impaired and following too closely. He was forced to surrender his driver's licence for 90 days and pay a $350 fine.

Trowbridge came back to the force and has since been promoted to Lieutenant.

"To his credit he came back and worked hard to try to put that behind him," Eggert said.

The chief said what will happen with Piedmont will rely largely on what becomes of the DWI charges. Piedmont is set to appear in Town of Newfane Court Tuesday, where Lockport attorney George Muscato will represent him.

"Quite frankly we're going to have to wait for the termination of that case," Eggert said, explaining that after it is over, the Police Board will convene to determine a proper course of action.

As to why Piedmont was put on paid leave, Eggert said state law only allows the police department to dole out punishment once for any wrongdoing so putting him on unpaid leave now would be considered that punishment and their hands would be tied later if they wanted to do anything else.

NOTE: Story edited at 11:42 a.m. to add that attorney George Muscato is representing Piedmont in court on Tuesday.

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