ITHACA, N.Y. – During a Supreme Court hearing in Tompkins County Court on Monday morning, a judge denied a petition entered by a woman alleging a Tompkins County Sheriff’s deputy falsified information in a case where she was accused of driving under the influence with her children in the vehicle.
Jennifer Rivera, 35, was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two after a motor vehicle accident in Ithaca on June 24, 2016 that left her and her two children hospitalized. According to documents provided by Rivera’s attorney, she alleged that the officer who responded to the scene of the crash, Deputy Matthew E. Skeval, made false statements and “knowingly filed a false report in a criminal investigation in June 2016.”
Related: Tompkins County deputy accused of falsifying info in DWI case; judge finds deputy’s testimony credible
Rivera alleged that Skeval provided a false BAC number when she said never took a breathalyzer test. Documents show Rivera never did take a breathalyzer test, however, the results of Rivera’s blood test from Robert Packer Hospital later showed she had a 0.07 blood alcohol content at the time her blood was taken which also tested positive for the presence of marijuana.
As the case progressed, multiple sources found the information of the evening to be conflicting. According to Skeval’s attorney, Jonathan Wood, a later court decision was filed on June 23, finding Skeval’s testimony to be credible after a suppression hearing in March.
Rivera filed a petition in July requesting unredacted DSS files and Skeval’s own personnel file in an attempt to prove that information about her case may have been forged.
“The paranoid and biased conclusory allegations made by petitioner’s counsel against Deputy Skeval, no matter how colorfully described and no matter how often they are repeated, are nothing but desperate attempts to distract the court from the fact that the petitioner drove her vehicle, with her children in tow, while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs,” read an affirmation filed on August 18 by District Attorney Matthew Van Houten.
In a hearing on Monday morning, Judge Eugene D. Faughnan denied Rivera’s petition from the bench. According to Van Houten, Rivera’s attorney did not appear on her behalf.
Further action and court dates are pending upon an order which is scheduled to be submitted by Wood, according to court clerks.