On October 17, Staten Island, New York Congressman Rep. Vito Fossella was convicted of driving under the influence, a personally and politically devastating case for him.
The arrest of Fossella, who emphasized family values, for DUI on May 1 exposed the fact that he had a secret second family. On December 8, he will find out if he will be serving time in prison.
In a statement on day of the conviction, Fossella said, “I made a serious mistake and I want to again apologize for setting the wrong example.”
The arrest led to the end of Fossella’s reelection campaign after it was discovered that the married father of three was having an affair with Laura Fay, a former Air Force colonel and congressional liaison. Fossella and Fay have a 3-year-old daughter together.
Fossella and Fay’s relationship was discovered when she picked him up at the drunk tank. Fossella had been in attendance at a White House party to honor the Super Bowl champion New York Giants earlier that day.
The conviction came after a day-long hearing that saw Fossella portrayed by prosecutors and witness as a stuttering, confused drunk that threatened to relieve himself inside the police station.
According to two police officers from Alexandria, Virginia, Fossella’s breath smelled of alcohol and he failed multiple sobriety tests. According to Officer Richard Sandoval, Fossella began to grow belligerent and threatened to urinate on the floor of the stationhouse.
Fossella denied the allegations, saying that he only ingested three glasses of wine and was the designated driver for an inebriated off-duty Secret Service agent. He said that he ran the red light that led to him being pulled over because was in a hurry that night because the child he had with his mistress was ill.
Fossella claimed that Sandoval was abusive, barking that he would throw him in jail if he didn’t blow forcefully into the breathalyzer.
Police say Fossella had a blood-alcohol content of 0.17. Any reading over 0.15 carries a mandatory prison sentence of five days.