Catherine Stark after she announced her candidacy for county legislature in February. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Suffolk County Legislator-elect Catherine Stark was arrested Sunday afternoon on a charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs, Riverhead Town Police said in a press release Sunday night.

Police said they received a 911 call at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday regarding an impaired driver operating a vehicle in the area of Pondview Road in Riverhead. A patrol officer located the reported vehicle, made contact with the driver and conducted an investigation, police said in the press release.

The operator of the vehicle, who was identified as Catherine Stark, 60, of Riverhead, was placed under arrest for violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192 (4), driving while ability impaired by drugs, according to the report.

Stark was transported to Riverhead Police Headquarters and held for arraignment, police said.

Stark, a longtime chief of staff to County Legislator Al Krupski, was elected last month to succeed him in the First Legislative District, defeating former Riverhead Council Member Catherine Kent by six percentage points.

Stark’s attorney, Steve Losquadro, said in a statement tonight that Stark “courageously has been battling cancer, a condition that she has chosen until now to keep private. This incident occurred when she unfortunately went to a store hours after taking her medication.

“There was no alcohol or illegal substances involved, and a test volunteered to by Ms. Stark showed this,” Losquadro said. “A blood test, also voluntarily given by Ms. Stark, will conclusively prove this. All medication taken by Ms. Stark to assist in her fight against this disease has been prescribed by her oncologist,” he said.  

“She looks forward to a quick resolution of this incident , including relevant circumstances regarding her treatment, before the court in a responsible and respectful manner.”

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.